Coal-fired power plants employ more people than mines, and they’re shutting down all over the country. Cheap natural gas, the rise of renewables backed by tax credits, and subsidies for nuclear energy will likely combine to keep the trend going. Coal-fired plants employed 86,035 people in the U.S. last year. That may not seem like a huge amount in a country of some 150 million workers but it’s 16 percent more than the number employed at mines, according to the U.S. government. It’s also a younger and more diverse workforce, with women making up more than a third of it, and ethnic minorities about a quarter. Curiously, they haven’t gotten nearly as much attention as the miners — even though their numbers are shrinking fast. And coal comebacks like the one Trump hailed in Pennsylvania won’t help them. Corsa Coal Corp.’s venture there is digging up metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking and often exported.
via Bloomberg / Daniel Acker