Are Coal Jobs Worth Saving?

Jump to Last Post 1-5 of 5 discussions (20 posts)
  1. Rock_nj profile image92
    Rock_njposted 2 years ago

    Are Coal Jobs Worth Saving?

    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?

  2. profile image69
    win-winresourcesposted 2 years ago

    Hello John-

    Coal is still the primary source of generating electricity.  And will be for decades.  Many (most) regulated utilities have long term coal contracts that will not just evaporate.  Yes, renewables will grow, but not  overnight.  The only reliable clean source of energy is nuclear - and not everyone is on board with that.

    I wouldn't worry so much about the tens of thousands of coal related jobs.  They are not going away suddenly either.

    The energy landscape will evolve over time, but certainly not as long as the renewables require significant governmental incentives to be cost effective.

    1. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    2. profile image69
      win-winresourcesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      John-
      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.

    3. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  3. lions44 profile image97
    lions44posted 2 years ago

    John, you are correct that the industry will eventually diminish.  However, those miners and other related workers will not be able to find work that pays comparable salaries.  What jobs are you going to retrain them to do?  You also have truckers, railroad workers, technicians, construction workers and other small businesses reliant on the industry.  Let's have a plan in place for these folks. 

    Why do to them what was done to the steel workers in the late 70s and 80s?  There are only so many windmill technician and solar panel install jobs.  West Virginia and Western PA have been hit hard already.  Other mining areas will follow suit. 

    Coal is a dirty business, but I don't want to see the problem compounded by excessive unemployment.

    1. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    2. MizBejabbers profile image91
      MizBejabbersposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    3. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  4. tamarawilhite profile image92
    tamarawilhiteposted 2 years ago

    Energy poverty hurts quality of life, and since coal is a fraction of the cost of solar and wind (which are also very unreliable), we have a moral obligation to use coal along with clean air technology so that people have affordable power for air conditoning, refrigeration, heating and so forth.
    The coal jobs are only a side benefit.

    1. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    2. jackclee lm profile image82
      jackclee lmposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Tesla's power wall is not the answer. It can only store a short amount of power backup.

    3. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  5. jackclee lm profile image82
    jackclee lmposted 2 years ago

    Coal as other energy resources should compete in a fair market, without government subsidies, or intervention or tax credits...
    If the price is competitive, it will survive on its own merit. If it stops being competitive, it will be phased out. The EPA and the Energy department should not be picking winners and losers.
    In China, coal is still a very large role of energy consumption because it is readily available and cheap. It is also a very efficient storage of energy and can be transported safely.

    1. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    2. jackclee lm profile image82
      jackclee lmposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Except the EPA helped with the demise of coal -
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business … story.html

    3. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    4. jackclee lm profile image82
      jackclee lmposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Except in this case the Supreme Court ruled against the EPA for over reach -
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/us/po … .html?_r=0

    5. Rock_nj profile image92
      Rock_njposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    6. jackclee lm profile image82
      jackclee lmposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, but I rather have it happen naturally than forced like what happened with Peabody Energy.

 
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)