The coal industry today is a little bit like days of the companies that made buggy whips. I’m sure they fought hard to keep the jobs for their workers, but in the case of coal their downfall was not due to the invention of the automobile, but due to the ability of compaines to develope massive amounts of natural gas at a super competitive price sealed the fate of coal industry.
This was a trend that started long before Trump arrived on the stage, I have no idea what Trump actually knew when he sat out to ‘save’ the coal industry. I doubt he gave much thought about what he was doing or what a hopeless task that was likely to be.
Certain types of coal are cridical to the steel industry, but beyond that, it is not so much that the ‘greens’ killed coal, but that basic cost to get you product to market killed them. The fact that natural gas is cleaner than coal is a positive, but not the only factor.