Having lost tens of thousands of coal mining jobs to the rise in natural gas, several states have decided if you can’t beat them, join them.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes to persuade President Donald Trump to spare a loan program he wants to kill and use it to help a $10 billion gas-storage project in the hard-hit Appalachian region of the eastern U.S. where coal had once dominated. Proponents say it would help spur new chemical, refining and other manufacturing industries — and give out-of-work miners a new career path.
“We need a more diverse portfolio,” said Brian Anderson, director of West Virginia University’s Energy Institute, and a member of the project’s coordinating committee. “If you have one industry that dominates your economy and that industry sees a decline then it really runs huge ripples through your entire economy.”
Coal and natural gas compete in the electricity markets and