September 27, 2020 Read More →

End of coal ‘opportunity for an entrepreneurial movement to rebuild’

The Herald-Dispatch:

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports 2020 will be the first year ever in which U.S. utilities get more electricity from renewables than from coal. It’s now clearer than ever that coal isn’t coming back. This is a painful and scary reality for our region. But this is also an opportunity for an entrepreneurial movement to rebuild a stronger economy that works for more of us.

Over the past year, I have been a very active part of a nationwide committee working to create a national policy platform that helps build a future in which southern West Virginia and other communities hit hard by the decline of the coal industry have vibrant, resilient, and equitable economies with thriving, local businesses and quality, family-sustaining jobs.

From here in Appalachia to native reservations to the western coalfields, the people and communities hit hard by the changing coal economy are facing a profound and urgent crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic decline has only made more difficult. Coal facility closures, layoffs, and cuts to vital services like health care and education are accelerating, devastating those that have been dependent on the coal economy — many of whom were not on equal footing to begin with, struggling following previous recessions and decades of inequality and widespread poverty.

[Brandon Dennison]


More: Brandon Dennison: Coal communities need equitable economic transition

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