Who is worth more? A few hundred thousand jobs directly in coal and the places coal employees spend money and their towns and so forth, OR the few billion other lives that will be affected by climate change?
Ah well you see, those few billion people are mostly brown, mostly don't vote in the US, and don't live in coal towns. So proceed with the coal!
I've spent a lot of time in coal country West Virginia, and it is absolutely true, these people don't have many options. There are usually two industries: coal and farming,and farming is not exactly hiring a lot of people. As a result, the people in the towns I visited were thrilled to have jobs working at McDonalds or Subway or Family Dollar, because there was nothing else. The next nearest towns were often an hour away by car, so fuel cost for driving is very high, on some of the most dangerous roads in the US. Anyone who could get A local job was immediately better off.
And a lot of the remaining people lived as best they could, farming for food and so forth. The situation is bleak and a lot of people do turn to meth because there is both an incentive to sell it and make money, and a lot of reason to want to be drugged out of your mind and forget how bad life is.
The problem with supporting coal now is that there is no future in it. Either we let the industry die now. Or we prop it up now and it has to die later. But it is going to die. Supporting it now and allowing more people to begin careers in it is criminal since we KNOW we can't sustain this and these people will be the next ones with no options in 10 or 20 years, or less depending on how the electoral winds blow.