The Nation’s Biggest Miner Union Is Ready for a Transition to Clean Energy
Category: News & PoliticsVia: evilgenius • 2 months ago • 12 comments
By: Dharna Noor
On Monday, the nation’s largest union of coal miners announced that it’s down for the shift to renewable energy as long the transition includes aid—and new jobs—for workers laid off from their sector. It’s the latest sign that workers aren’t buying the fossil fuel industry’s narrative that it’s a great protector of U.S. jobs.
“As we confront a next wave of energy transition, we must take steps now to ensure that things do not get worse for coal miners, their families and communities, but in fact get better,” Cecil E. Roberts, international president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in a statement .
At a press conference, union officials also unveiled a plan for “preserving coal country” as the world transitions to clean energy. They stood beside Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, who endorsed their demands for the move to clean energy, marking a sharp turn from his history of defending the coal industry at all costs. (Manchin infamously once shot a bullet through a copy of a major Congressional climate bill in a political ad.) At the press event, Manchin also backed the PRO Act, a transformative bill to increase labor protections .
The announcement flies in the face of the jobs vs. environment argument that extractive industry and its allies have pushed for decades as a way to claim that climate regulations must be avoided at all costs. In truth, of course, the sector has been laying off workers all on its own without any new environmental regulations.