Trump’s belief that mitigating carbon emissions will hurt the economy and that leaving the Paris agreement will bring jobs back to coal country is false. Coal is the kerosene lamp of today’s energy system. It’s time we stop making ourselves and our climate sick. Developments in clean energy are already resulting in massive improvements to electricity generation, storage and transmission.
Natural gas, new wind and new solar are now the cheapest forms of power; market forces are pushing coal out. More and more customers are demanding clean energy or installing it themselves, and prices continue to drop. The growing clean energy industry already employs more people across the U.S. than coal and oil combined. The energy revolution is taking place across the country, including in coal country.
A renewable energy project in Wyoming aims to retrain laid-off coal workers. Meanwhile, utilities in Kentucky are offering renewable energy packages in the hope of attracting new businesses and retaining companies with clean energy commitments (including GM and Toyota). There is not going to be an economic renaissance for coal — no matter what the president says. Let’s continue to cut our losses and focus on building a future we can depend on.
Lisa Cliff, Richland
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