Tag Archives: Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts

Billings Gazette Editorial: Montana can’t stake its future on coal

There was an interesting and unexpected editorial in this morning’s Billings Gazette, entitled “Montana can’t stake its future on coal.”

The central argument of the editorial is that US coal-fired power generation will continue to decline and be offset by an increase from renewable sources, so it makes no sense for Senator Daines and others to accuse the Administration of “killing coal,” as Daines did this week in Billings. Instead “Montana must look forward….We don’t want anyone to lose jobs, but in a dynamic economy jobs are lost and new jobs are created. Any Montana workers who will be displaced by changes in the coal and electrical industries deserve training and support to land good, new jobs.

“Montana’s leaders in government and business should host summits on energy diversification. Let’s figure out how to provide what energy customers want and how to best transition out of the energy they don’t want.”

This is an argument that we have been making on this site for years. Montanans need to recognize that the battle to prop up fossil fuels is lost. The transition to a clean energy economy may play out over years or decades, but it is time for the state’s leaders to step forward to put Montana at the forefront of that transition, not, as Senator Daines would have it, trying to beat a dying horse. Continue reading

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