President Barack Obama's defenders have insisted there is no war on coal. Employment in the coal industry has remained fairly steady, they maintain.
But as we have pointed out repeatedly, the White House campaign to wreck the coal industry and thus drive up electricity prices is just gathering steam. It is what will happen in the future that should concern Americans, we have noted.
Well, the future has arrived. Thousands of miners already have lost their jobs because of the war on coal. Power companies have closed some coal-fired generating plants and plan to shutter many others.
Job losses will accelerate, as an announcement by American Electric Power indicates. The company's plans to close coal-fired power plants in our area will mean loss of some local jobs. How many will not be known until February.
AEP apparently plans to replace electricity from local coal-fired plants with power from gas-fueled stations elsewhere. As demand for natural gas grows, the price of electricity generated by burning it will go up.
By then, with coal-fired plants closed and probably demolished, it will be too late to go back to generating power economically through coal.
AEP's decision is just the most recent confirmation, then, that the war on coal is very real - and close to success.