President Donald Trump indicated that one motivation for pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord was the opportunity to bring jobs back to coal country. But regardless of the accord — which didn’t even prevent America from using more coal — the demand for coal is drying up.
The J.M. Stuart Station and the Killen Station, which are scheduled to close next year, employ some 700 people in the community of 28,000. Their closures will translate to about $35 million in lost salary and $9 million in lost property taxes.
Local leaders are now trying to figure out how to prevent what could be decades of economic instability after the plants are shuttered.
“These coal plants are unable to compete against the cleaner, cheaper options demanded by customers to meet their energy needs,” Dan Sawmiller of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Ohio said in a statement when news came of the plant closures. The “announcement underscores the profound national trend away from coal, and it remains critical that the needs of the workers and the communities affected by these decisions are appropriately addressed.”
This segment originally aired June 1, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
Juanita Ceballos, Gleb Mikhalev and Ross Laing contributed to this report.