Political campaigns, conspiracies and gun control in today’s letters to the editor.
Pick of the day: Wishing won’t save coal jobs
Re: “Talk of coal’s demise is greatly exaggerated,” Jan.4 letter:
Lisa Miller is optimistic when she states, “Energy demand in America will continue to increase, and our energy needs cannot be met without coal.”
In “Annual Energy Outlook — 2013, “the U.S.Energy Information Administration projects annual average growth rates from 2011-40 of only 0.1percent per year for coal consumed for energy supply, compared to projected growth rates of 3.1percent for renewables, 2percent for biomass, 0.6percent for natural gas and 0.5percent for nuclear.
It projects a growth rate for coal exports of 1.1percent over that same period, which will be a benefit to the coal industry.
Although Miller’s organization advocates for increased use of coal to produce electricity, the EIA projects electricity consumption will rise only 0.6percent per year for industrial users and 0.7percent per year for residential users.
The shift away from coal as a mainstay energy source is irreversible, and it is not due to Environment Protection Agency regulations, anti-coal sentiment in Washington, or any of the other reasons cited for coal’s decline. There is a need to invest in workforce training and development to retrain coal-industry workers for careers in different fields.