Gillette, Wyoming, calls itself the ‘Energy Capital of the World’ and is at the centre of the state’s coal mining industry. It is also one of the most pro-Donald Trump towns in America.
In 2016, 88 percent of people in Campbell County, where Gillette is located, voted for Trump after he promised to protect jobs for coal miners.
But four years on the future of the town looks uncertain. Coal production in the state is declining at almost half of what it was in 2008 and falling a further nine percent in 2019, leading to mine closures and job losses.
Lynne Huskinson was among those who found herself unemployed when two coal mines in the region shut last year after their owner went bankrupt.
Now, she is running for the Wyoming State House of Representatives as a Democrat.
“Has Donald Trump helped coal? No. Because it was a campaign ploy. I don’t think he understood anything about coal, I think he knew that it was a dying resource,” she told France 24.
But many here still support the president.
Among them is coal miner and city council candidate Eric Hanson.
“I will vote on November 3rd and I will vote for President Trump,” he told France 24.
“I have a lot of friends who have lost jobs and had to either look for another coal mining job at one of the mines that were still open or find a different occupation. Those are things that are out of his control. I believe he is not for getting rid of jobs in the coal industry or any of the other energy industries.”
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