EDITORIAL: Helping those affected

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 2021

As the nation and world attempt to tackle the issue of climate change, the energy industry has started a long-overdue shift toward renewable sources.

And with this change comes a move away from the fossil fuels that have powered the world since the industrial revolution.

As demand for coal decreases, it is imperative that regions that have had their economies centered around it be prepared and given the resources to deal with the impacts to energy.

One of these is Appalachia and we were heartened this week to see U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, among those in Congress sponsoring legislation to help workers who may be affected.

The American Energy Worker Opportunity Act would create a worker transition program, including wage supplements, health care, education and training funds for laid off workers, as well as an additional education benefit for their children.

Endorsed by the United Mine Workers, it would prioritize employers planning to hire eligible workers for the clean energy grants created under President Joe Biden’s spending plan.

Change can be difficult, but, in the case of coal’s decline, due to both market and environmental factors, it has already begun.

Rather than trying to halt the inevitable, it is best to adapt and prepare for the future.

It is only through such planning that the Tri-State can be put into a position to move its economy into the future.