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Fri Oct 18, 2019, 12:18 PM

Coal-producing states don't have to die with coal

By Froma Harrop / The Washington Post

There is economic life after coal, and the sooner America’s coal country concedes that coal as a power source is about dead, the sooner it can move on to better days. This is the reality of coal. It’s on the way out whether President Trump “digs” it or not.

Major U.S. coal companies are falling one by one. They’ve filed over half a dozen bankruptcies in the past year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fueling this downturn is the growth of natural gas and renewable energy. Natural gas is cleaner and cheaper than coal. What electric utility in its right mind would prefer coal?

Coal workers are suffering. Thousands have lost jobs in recent months. Some are losing retirement benefits, as well as paychecks they’ve already worked for.

America’s two main coal-producing regions are Appalachia and the Powder River Basin spreading through parts of Wyoming and Montana. No one can deny that the drop in demand for their product was totally predicted.

In 2008, coal powered 48 percent of America’s electricity production. By next year, it is expected to account for only 22 percent.

And it’s not only natural gas, a fossil fuel that produces less greenhouse gas than coal but still emits some. Spanking-clean wind and solar energy have become major players in the energy supply, in many cases undercutting coal in price.


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Reply Coal-producing states don't have to die with coal (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Oct 18 OP
lagomorph777 Oct 18 #1
Gumboot Oct 19 #2

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 01:23 PM

1. West Virginia is quite close to the world's biggest collection of data centers.

Seems to me the mountains of WV would make excellent platforms for wind turbines to power the enormous power suck from the data centers in Northern Virginia.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Oct 19, 2019, 11:50 AM

2. My thoughts exactly.

Don't blow up WV's remaining mountain tops - build wind turbines up there instead. Invest in re-training the miners to do this work.

And there's never been a shortage of wind in Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas... just a lack of political will to diversify the economy and energy production methods.

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