Thousands of coal workers lost jobs. Where will they go?

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“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were close to 90,000 coal mining jobs in 2012, compared with 46,600 today. In the last decade, more than 300 coal-fired power plants have retired, eliminating coal-related jobs in the power sector.

In Maryland, the Legislature adjourned early over COVID-19 concerns before the coal phaseout bill could move forward. Two months later, a Houston-based company, GenOn Holdings Inc., announced the closure of three coal-fired units in the state. It cited unfavorable economic conditions and increased costs associated with environmental compliance as its reason for retiring the units in Dickerson, Md.

“Dickerson has been a major contributor to particulate matter pollution,” said Tim Whitehouse, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “It has also been a major polluter of the Potomac River.””

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