November 2, 2016
Due to recent changes in emission regulations, coal fired power plants nationwide are shutting down. With this, job loss is inevitable.
Just a few months ago, some bad news entered my household. My father is employed at the Great River Energy station in Stanton, North Dakota, one of twelve power plants owned by the company. Due to recent changes in emission restrictions, Great River Energy is shutting down the Stanton station come May. Some of the 65 employed at the Stanton station will be able to retire, though most will have to find work elsewhere (StarTribune). My father, who had wanted to work two more years before retirement, will be forced to retire early and settle for a less than ideal severance package. This appears small scale, but coal fired power plants similar to the aforementioned, are shutting down and causing job loss across America.
The regulations do not only directly affect the coal fired power plants; they also affect the coal mining industry. There are approximately 174,000 full time jobs indirectly related to coal mining; 83,000 of which are coal mining, 60,0000 derive from power plants, and 30,000 from transportation of coal (SourceWatch). The shutting down of power plants makes for a loss of power plant based jobs and lack of demand for coal. This in turn created job loss for mining operations.
The emission regulation and shutting down of power plants not only negatively affects the economy, but affects the availability of power. Coal fired power plants account for eight times that of the nations wind and solar power combined. That being said, it makes up 23.8% of all power in the United States (Forbes). Alternative methods of power manufacturing are sometimes generically coined as "green energy". These methods are not efficient enough to make up for the power previously supplied by coal fired power plants. The "green energy" technology would have to make significant advances to maintain consistency.
These regulations are killing jobs causing those recently employed great inconvenience. The whole coal related field will suffer from the lack of demand and the economy will continue to plummet. As President, it is your job to prevent this from happening. You and only you can keep America employed and prosperous.