Trump touts jobs in Pennsylvania — where unemployment has nearly doubled on his watch


He also claimed falsely that clean energy would destroy the state's economy.

Donald Trump told supporters on Wednesday that he "brought jobs and factories back to Pennsylvania" and that Joe Biden would send their jobs overseas if elected president.

In reality, unemployment in the state has nearly doubled since Trump took office in January 2017.

"Your security and your jobs are in very grave peril because the radical-left maniacs, they don't want to have anything to do with energy," Trump said at a rally in Moon Township. "They have the Green New Deal, where there will be no energy almost of any kind."

He then repeated the debunked lie that Biden would ban all fracking and mining.

"Biden reiterated his pledge to require net-zero carbon emissions. That's basically saying, do you know what that is? There'll be no more oil, there'll be no more gas, there'll be no more nothing, there'll be no more industry, there'll be no more country, that's what it's saying really," Trump claimed. "And that would instantly shut down all fracking and all mining immediately in Pennsylvania, sending your jobs overseas, sending your money to somebody else, not you."

He added, "I'll keep your jobs in Pennsylvania where they belong and you're going to be doing fracking for a long time."

Trump was in fact unable to keep all of the jobs that were in Pennsylvania when President Barack Obama left office. In January 2017, the state had about 333,000 people unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By July 2020, that number had risen to nearly 794,000. Preliminary data for August showed about 650,000 people were unemployed last month.

Over Trump's presidency, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate has risen from 5.2% to about 10.3%.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Trump also bragged, "Last year, I visited the Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The largest investment in your state's history and that was all made possible by our pro-energy policies and we've done it a lot."

Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette visited the same facility earlier this week.

But according to a Food & Water Watch analysis, the 600 permanent jobs the plant will bring is far lower than what was initially promised.

"Factoring in the massive $1.6 billion tax break granted to the company — the largest in Pennsylvania history — means the state is essentially paying $2.75 million to create each job at the plant," the group noted.

Meanwhile, despite Trump's war on clean energy, that sector has actually grown in Pennsylvania while other forms of energy have declined.

"In 2019, Pennsylvania wind and solar employed 2,815 and 4,219 people respectively, more than either coal or natural gas plants," Food & Water Watch wrote in a report released Monday.

An August study, done by the state's government, found that Pennsylvania's clean energy jobs grew by 8.7% between 2017 and 2019, while coal, natural gas, and nuclear industries each saw job declines.

Presidential polling shows Pennsylvania is close, but Biden has held a consistent lead in nearly every poll for months. According to a RealClearPolitics average, the former vice president is currentky ahead in the key swing state by 4.7%.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.