I feel for anyone who experiences a devastating job loss. But, given the fact that so many types of jobs, from blacksmiths to elevator operators, have been rendered obsolete by technological changes, should we really spend so much time and effort trying to save the few coal jobs that still exist? More so than regulations, simple economics, such as cheaper sources of energy are driving the move away from coal and to cleaner sources of energy. Should we really focus on saving coal jobs or retrain coal workers to do other things?
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Natural gas is coal's biggest competitor. Renewables will become much more reliable when home storage units like Tesla's Powerball are available to store renewable energy for use when needed. Not far off.
Tesla's power wall is not the answer. It can only store a short amount of power backup.
I don't understand that to be the case with Tesla's Powerwall / ball. I believe it is designed to store enough electricity to provide backup for many days. That would change renewables a lot. Power on demand, when needed.
I don't want to see anyone suffer due to losing a job. My grandfather came to the US determined to make it as a blacksmith. The automobile ended those dreams and he found other work. I am just saying that coal is going the way of the horse.
John, you are sizing up the situation reasonably. I had a relative who was a Linotype operator. He went to college, graduated at age 60 with a degree in computers, and continued doing the same kind of work, just computerized.
Thanks MizBejabbers. Better to be forewarned and find something else to do. At this point the coal industry is just a shell of what it once was. Like many professions, it will just become outdated and workers will need to move on to new jobs.
Thanks for your input. From what I've read recently, more electricity is being produced with natural gas than coal as of recently. This is a recent development just this year and a growing trend.
Natural gas is typically used as peak support and is expensive compared to coal. Coal is, far and away, the primary source for electricity generation. Economics is, very often, the main driver in paradigm shifts.
From EIA: Natural gas expected to surpass coal in mix of fuel used for U.S. power generation in 2016. EIA is now forecasting that 2016 will be the first year that natural gas-fired generation exceeds coal generation.
I agree. I have researched the coal issue and it appears the biggest problem coal has is fracking has caused nat gas to become so cheap and plentiful that it makes economic sense to switch power generation to nat gas.
Except the EPA helped with the demise of coal -
The government also helped the demise of the horse and buggy and railroads, due to massive investment in roads and a modern highway system. The primary reason for coal's demise is that nat gas is cheaper. Govt influence on the margins.
Except in this case the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA for over reach -
Won't matter in the long run. Economics rule the roost. Coal is just losing it, even in places like China, coal is losing its demand to a wide range of alternatives. Coal is from another era. The future is elsewhere.
Yes, but I rather have it happen naturally than forced like what happened with Peabody Energy.