January 2, 2019

WHAT ABOUT THEIR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO BLACK LUNG?:

Rural Jobs: A Big Reason Midwest Should Love Clean Energy: From wind power maintenance to energy efficiency upgrades, clean energy job opportunities outnumber fossil fuel work in much of the rural Midwest. (Dan Gearino, DEC 7, 2018, inside Climate News)

In 2017, the latest data in the report, clean energy employed about 158,000 people in the rural Midwest, according to NRDC. While a larger number of clean energy jobs overall were in urban areas, the rural clean energy jobs stand out for making up a bigger percentage of the overall rural economy. 

Gary Easton has seen the growth in his rural southeastern Ohio business, Appalachian Renewable Power. The company, with six employees, installs rooftop solar systems, and most of its customers are in small towns or out in the woods or farms. This week, his clients include a flower shop in Barnesville, Ohio, population about 4,100, where his employees installed solar panels.

"There are years we're experiencing 100 percent growth," Easton said.

"I'm a rural business because this is where I want to live," he said. "This is the kind of place where I want to be."

Fossil fuel industries have faded as major employers in most of the rural Midwest, despite a history in some states closely tied to coal, oil and natural gas production, the report shows. Ten of the 12 states have more rural clean energy jobs than rural fossil fuel jobs. The exceptions are North Dakota, which has the Bakken oil field, and Kansas, where the numbers are close.

Meanwhile, renewable energy has been booming in the region as prices have fallen and wind power has become cheaper than both coal and natural gas in many areas.

Posted by at January 2, 2019 12:04 AM

  

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