United Mineworkers Union calls for a revitalization/economic development/mitigation program in response to the decline of the coal industry
The Washington Post reports ("Surprise news from the miners union gives Democrats an opening against Trumpism" ) that the United Mine Workers Union, recognizing the decline of fossil fuel production and coal mining specifically, has released a policy paper, Preserving Coal Country, recommending:
tax credits to incentivize manufacturers to make things like solar panels and wind turbines in areas long dominated by coal. It calls for more federal money to be spent on retraining dislocated miners.And it outlines plans for research and development funding to make coal cleaner, facilitate carbon capture and storage, and explore other ways to slow the transition to a decarbonized future, while acknowledging that this transition will happen no matter what.
The alternative is what happened to cities like Detroit, Flint, and Pittsburgh after economic dislocation in response to industrial closure on a massive scale (although Pittsburgh is reviving because of universities and medical care, but after decades of wrenching change and decline, "For Pittsburgh, There’s Life After Steel," New York Times).
Basically while it is economic-based devastation, it's as if these cities were destroyed by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions -- natural disasters -- the devastation is so severe, long lasting, and has reshaped the community in deep ways.
Note that the issue isn't just one for miners, but also coal-fired power plants and the surrounding communities, which also suffer economic devastation when the plants close.
-- "APS's plan for closing coal plants could be a gamechanger, analysts say, but who will pay?," Utility Dive
-- "Imminent Hopi-Navajo budget crisis as coal industry collapses, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
-- "A look ahead: It was a bruising year for Wyoming coal. What could the new year bring?," Casper Star-Tribune