Adaptation, culture, and the energy transition in American coal country

Research shows coal communities that have experienced mine closures are already beginning an economic and social transition, and false promises to return coal jobs can be destructive to that progress.

Why you should take a look:

This article stresses the importance of asking questions about the benefits and burdens resulting from the U.S. energy transition. The research identifies and evaluates approaches designed to help those adversely affected by the transition. Understanding how coal communities cope and adapt will help governments and stakeholders create sustainable solutions among those most affected.

Key Findings:

1.  Coal as culture

Historic roots of coal steer individuals towards the profession but also shapes the broader culture within these communities. Participants of the study noted that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers worked in the mining industry, this career choice lasted for generations.

2. Community adaptive capacity

The coal industry decline has affected individuals and families differently, participants believe that this change is permanent and has led many participants to take on new careers and go back to school. although there are many people in these communities who do not have the skills to work in a different industry.

3. Shifting mindsets and seeking new opportunities

Many participants feel optimistic about the changes in small communities traditionally dependent on the coal industry. People are beginning to accept and become aware of the energy transition and will continue to adapt. 



Date: 2017
Strategic Approach: Audiences
Strategic Approach: Audiences

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