What the two presidential hopefuls have been saying about mining, oil and gas and the future of energy has been closely watched by the industry and there have been many interesting reports about it. We the Making Mining Better team wanted to write a blog about the stories you should read about this subject. This is our list for this week:
Trump didn’t bring back coal in Pa. But that doesn’t mean miners are backing Biden
- As Rachel Gleason, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, said of Trump: “He hasn’t done anything to help, necessarily, but he also hasn’t done anything to hurt us.”
- In Pennsylvania, the number of bituminous miners has dropped from 4,559 in 2017 to 3,979 in 2019. Nationwide, there are 6,400 fewer miners today than when Trump took office.
- In Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal industry, employment dropped from 837 jobs in 2017 to 735 in 2018, before rebounding to 965 in 2019.
- Hillary Clinton, who famously said “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Clinton later said that was the comment she most regretted from her 2016 campaign, when her razor-thin loss in Pennsylvania helped send Trump to the White House.
Read the full report here
On Minnesota copper mining issues, Trump position is clear while Biden is mum
This report takes up to Minnesota where it becomes quite clear what the two candidates will do when it comes to copper-nickel mining. This in-depth report by Jennifer Bjorhus for the Star Tribune. Some highlights:
- Trump has boasted of opening up northern Minnesota to mining for minerals and copper. Meanwhile, Biden has been publicly mute on the subject.
- “If Biden is elected there will be no copper-nickel mining even though he’s not saying anything about it,” said Jennifer Carnahan, chairwoman of Minnesota’s Republican Party. “We know where he stands. He was in Obama’s administration for eight years.”
- The Trump administration has pushed copper-nickel mining just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, reversing key decisions by the Obama administration to block it as too risky for the fragile ecosystem.
Read more here.
Biden win could be net positive for metals and mining, observers say
This report challenges what many think about the two candidates. This excellent bit of reporting by Jacob Holzman and Gaurang Dholakia for S&P Global Market Intelligence. Some highlights:
- “There’s the kind of simplistic answer that Trump will be good for the mining industry and Biden will be bad. And I just think that’s too simplistic and really kind of not true,” said Scot Anderson, a natural resources attorney with law firm Hogan Lovells.
- National Mining Association President and CEO Rich Nolan said in an interview that if Biden is elected and raises taxes on corporations, investment in new mines could be impeded. The margins “don’t pan out as quickly” because of the time needed to develop an asset and get government approval, Nolan said.
- S&P Global Ratings analyst Donald Marleau said in an Oct. 9 email that it is “improbable” that a change in administration would affect the credit quality of U.S. metals and mining companies because profit in the sector is driven far more by price volatility and cost predictability than a factor such as income tax. “These are typically capital-intensive industries, so that income tax rarely affects cash flow in [a] meaningful way,” Marleau said.
Read more here.