Importance of helping coal workers transition to newer industries
Re: “Hard road for coal miners in face of renewable energy,” June 18 guest commentary.
The coal industry is feeling the effects of a disruptive shift in energy and transportation. The cost advantages of solar, wind, batteries and automation have placed energy on the same Moore’s Law cost curve that computers and cellphones have been on for decades. Those working in coal are experiencing the effect of this disruption firsthand: mines and power plants are closing, companies going bankrupt, incomes, pensions and insurances gone with them. King Coal is only the first energy segment to feel the impact of this disruption.
Business economics and the pressing need to address climate change will force coal’s demise. It’s now a matter of social justice for America to provide support, training and access in their communities to opportunities in industries on the rise. It is a moral tragedy for our leaders to extend hope for coal, which only serves to prolong the pain and postpone the recovery and further distort our political landscape.
Don Sorenson, Lakewood