What shuttering coal plants means for energy jobs
With new environmental rules looming this week, coal-driven power plants are closing all over the United States, and jobs are going with them.
Utilities have been shuttering plants almost since regulatory changes were announced back in December 2011, but the number of closures has spiked recently, and several more plants are scheduled to close in the next few years. April 15 marks the deadline for power plants in the United States to adhere to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards on the amount of mercury and other toxins they emit.
A recent report from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment says the coal industry has lost nearly 50,000 jobs since 2011. But the report was also hopeful that cleaner alternatives have more than offset the losses—the natural gas, solar and wind industries together created almost four times as many jobs as the coal industry lost.