December 6, 2021 Read More →

Coal jobs disappearing and renewable jobs growing—in different places

Wall Street Journal ($):

The decline of coal in the U.S. is playing out in rural Utah, where a mine is losing two top domestic customers because their power plants are switching to cleaner fuels. One reason: California is taxing and banning carbon-intensive energy sources to slow climate change.

The loss of business will potentially cost revenue and jobs for three counties where Wolverine Fuels LLC operates its mines. The economic benefits from the switch to cleaner fuels will be felt far away, across the state in Utah and hundreds of miles away in Nevada and California.

“How is rural Utah going to replace that revenue?” said Kent Wilson, a commissioner in Emery County, which could be hit with job and revenue losses if the nearby Wolverine mine produces less coal. “We will become a poor county the day those [coal-fired] power plants shut down.”

The shift to renewable energy is both costing and creating jobs, though generally not in the same place. That is one of the stresses caused by the multidecade transition away from fossil fuels.

[Shane Shifflett]

More: Job Gains and Losses From Coal Shutdowns Land in Different Places

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