Country must treat coal miners fairly

The country is leaving coal behind, and we need to treat coal miners fairly.

As a society we need to cover miners’ retirement, health care, and transition payments when new jobs pay less than mining jobs. For each 100 miners who lose their jobs, a good 10-year transition program would cost $3.4 million per year. There are only 13,000 coal miners in West Virginia, and 50,000 in the whole country, so we can afford this.

One approach is at NewDay4.com, and more approaches can be developed when people start planning together.

Coal plants are at the end of their lives and won’t be replaced. Half of utility executives say they will use significantly less coal over the next decade. 2018 had the lowest use of coal since 1979. Wind, solar and storage are getting cheaper than fossil fuel plants.

Coal has kept the lights on, so now it is time to ask elected officials and candidates to support a solid transition when miners lose work.

Paul Burke

Harpers Ferry

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