United Mine Workers of America, the United State’s largest coal union, announced that it supports a renewable energy future, so long as it means “good-paying jobs” for its members. The union said it would support President Biden’s climate policies if they included comprehensive strategies for helping those whose livelihoods still depend on coal.
Could this declaration mark the final decline of coal in the United States, cementing in the public psyche that the era of coal is over? And, if so, could the union’s demands for comprehensive support for transitioning into new “good-paying jobs” have additional effects in petroleum and natural gas sectors – perhaps accelerating transitions to renewable energy there as well? Or, might there be increased protectionist responses from oil and gas companies seeing the writing on the wall, and doubling down on efforts to slow the transition?