Thursday, April 09, 2015

Going green has cost Appalachia, helped Northeast, Southwest, Midwest and West, study says

From 2008 to 2012, as the nation began moving away from coal and toward green energy, the coal industry lost 49,000 jobs, "while the natural gas, solar and wind industries together created nearly four times that amount," says a county-level study by Duke University. Appalachia, particularly Southern West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, as well as the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado and parts of the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, experienced the greatest job losses. The Northeast, Southwest, Midwest and West all benefited, gaining jobs.

Senior author Lincoln Pratson said, "Our study shows it has not been a one-for-one replacement. The counties that were very reliant on the coal industry are now in the most difficult position." Analyst Drew Harer said differences in the availability of state incentives for renewable energy have had a major impact on jobs. He said, "States with incentives have more growth. The southeast is incentive-free, and there is almost no development of green energy there compared to other regions." (Read more)

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