From his first day in office, President Trump has made clear his intentions to repeal much of the work President Obama spent two terms achieving. Of Trump’s intended changes, one of the most harmful would be alterations to environmental policy and specifically the coal industry in the American energy plan.

Throughout his campaign, Trump promised a return of the coal industry and American jobs in that sector, a goal supported by many former employees of coal companies. However, a focus on coal would be detrimental to the development of renewable and green energy. Even if Trump successfully created jobs within the coal industry, the demand for the dirtiest fossil fuel has been consistently decreasing.

As environmentally conscious energy sources become more feasible and efficient, coal mining seems like a step backward. Though increasing jobs is important, greater employment in this dying sector would be almost unnoticeable. Of the 150,000,000 Americans in the work force, only 50,000, or about 0.03 percent, are coal miners, down from an all time high in 1923 of 863,000 coal miners, which would itself only account for 0.5 percent of working Americans. Failing mining companies such as the bankrupt giants Peabody Energy and Arch Coal are laying off workers as the demand for coal continues to decline.

Regaining such a small portion of the work force as a trade-off for the well-being of the environment is harmful and ineffective. Rather than focusing on a dying industry to create more jobs, Trump should be investing in renewable energy to boost the economy and preserve the planet.