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Paper: How Coal Country Can Adapt to the Energy Transition

Amaury Laporte's picture
Communications Director, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

Amaury is in charge of communications for the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), a D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing science-based solutions for climate change, energy...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Mar 3, 2021

EESI, a D.C.-based nonpartisan nonprofit, has released a fact sheet about how coal country can adapt to the energy transition.
Coal communities are feeling the burden of the energy and economic transition. Our paper takes a look at policies, programs, and proposals that provide workforce development opportunities, diversify local economies, and alleviate economic hardship.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 3, 2021

Training displaced fossil fuel workers in the skills to work in broadband deployment and fiber optic cable installation is another potential route to benefit individual workers and rural communities. 

This is an interesting direction-- I would think that there's no reason these programs wouldn't be in the works with or without coal industry shutting down, so what's necessarily the cross-over? Is it just timing (coal dropping while need for broadband rises) or is there a coincidence of skills for those relevant workers and/or resources becoming available as coal operations shut down? 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Mar 3, 2021

As times change thexworkers need to adapt to new jobs and careers. It will also be good for their health. In fact it woukd be great if they created a new area with related expertise. Maybe Geo Thermal which requires shallow vertical trenching that is somewhat related to work they have been doing.  

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Mar 10, 2021

This is an incredibly important issue, not just to the people in "coal country", but to the nation as a whole.  What better way to get Senator Manchin on-board an infrastructure initiative?

It is essential that the energy transition cover all of the country, not just certain areas.

Although the energy mix is changing nationwide, it is not occurring at the same speed in all regions. Some areas of the United States are leading the transition toward renewable energy, while other areas have been slow to adopt clean energy.

The more entrenched one kind of generation is in a region, the more difficult it is for renewable energy companies, particularly smaller companies, to take hold. Therefore, renewables may face higher barriers in regions where entire communities and economies are dependent on coal.

Just one of the initiatives is the "The Marshall Plan for Coal Country Act (S.4306),".   It is to be hoped that this and the other initiatives get a hearing in Congress and that there is a way to pass this kind of important legislation.

Maybe Joe Manchin would re-consider his opposition to getting rid of the filibuster in order to get these things done?

Amaury Laporte's picture
Thank Amaury for the Post!
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