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Donald Trump's "carbon bubble" economy is bound to pop — the only question is how bad it will be
" ... Trump's economic policies are built on many flawed assumptions, especially a fossil-fuel boom that won't end well. ...
Donald Trump's "policies" don't really exist in any conventional or coherent sense, but his promises, pledges and appointments so far tell us enough to know that he's devoted to the kind of bubble economics that ultimately can only burst. First, there's the "carbon bubble," pursuing economic growth through fossil fuel investments that can never pay off because 80 percent of the fuel can never be burned. (Sean McElwee wrote about it here three years ago.) Second, there's Trump's reliance on vastly accelerated economic growth to wave away budget concerns and other reality-based question about what he wants to do on multiple policy fronts. Third is a more fantastical bubble — the imagined resurgence of traditional working-class jobs in mining and manufacturing, at a time when even China is losing manufacturing jobs to cheaper labor markets. ...
There are two fundamental truths here: first, coal is a sector in long-term decline, and second, Trump's bubble enthusiasm for fossil fuels isn't even likely to help people who work in fossil fuel industries. His over-enthusiasm for blindly pushing competition helped to destroy the United States Football League (a 1980s rival of the NFL), as well as his New Jersey casino holdings. The same sort of blindness is at work here. Unregulated fracking has only made matters worse for coal generally and coal miners in particular. Blaming Obama is just fanciful scapegoating.
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