Economic Diversity for Coal Communities

The first Jackson Hole Global Forum, held in 2018, focused on climate solutions and economic diversification for coal communities. The event included an impressive list of panel participants and presentations from around the world. Shutting down coal mines and figuring out how to help the communities that previously relied on those mines for their livelihood is not a new problem. The panelists shared a lot of useful wisdom over the two days of talks. A few great quotes that I loved from the event include:

Don’t fight technology trends. You will lose.

and from Fred Beach of Texas:

It’s too hard to transmit energy across state lines - see KeystoneXL and high cost of transmission. Use it locally instead if at all possible.

Lastly, when discussing where to invest to help Wyoming diversify away from coal mining and coal power:

Coal is way too valuable to burn.

The main takeaway is that it is possible to successfully move an economy away from coal, but it does take leadership and the bravery to make hard or unpopular decisions.