Posts Tagged "Community Transition"

“It sounds really bold to say, but what we’re trying to do is to rebuild the Appalachian economy from the ground up. … We don’t get into the moral argument of coal being good or bad, we just talk about jobs and entrepreneurship.”

– Brandon Dennison, co-founder and CEO of Coalfield Development Corp, a nonprofit that offers out-of-work coal miners a chance to learn new skills, including solar installation.

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“We want to prepare ourselves and be proactive should this plant actually close … and we’re willing to do whatever we can to support the workers. We just want to make sure we’re prepared.”

– Peter DeJesus, field coordinator for the Western New York Area Labor Federation, speaking about the town of Tonawanda, New York and how it can serve as a model for communities facing the closure of local coal-burning powers plants and trying to diversify their economy.

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“In the five stages of grief, we’re past denial. Now we’re into anger, depression and bargaining — and the bargaining is trying to figure out what the new normal is and how to make this work.”

– University of Wyoming energy economics professor Robert Godby, quoted in a Bloomberg story on the impacts of the coal industry’s decline on his state.

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“By law, if my office can’t offer a tax break to a single mom who worries about feeding her children, I’m not going to offer one to a multi-national corporation that just asked the bankruptcy court to pay its executives $12 million in bonuses.”

– Brita Horn, Treasurer of Routt County, Colorado, on Peabody Energy’s efforts to avoid paying interest and fees owed for overdue property taxes.

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“The writing on the wall for the coal industry is clear. Young coal workers, in particular, should consider retraining for a job in solar now.”

– Michigan Technological University proferssor Joshua Pearce, commenting on a study he co-authored showing that many coal companies, even those filing for bankruptcy, could retrain all their employees to work in similar solar industry job for less than the CEO’s annual salary.

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