Im­por­tance of help­ing coal work­ers tran­si­tion to newer in­dus­tries

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

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

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