Do not exclude coal from the US energy mix | News, Sports, Jobs

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There is value in walking in another person’s shoes. And while US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh wasn’t exactly preparing for a day’s work at the Ohio County underground coal mine he visited on Wednesday, we’re hoping he will learn a bit. more about people whose livelihoods are at risk if the wrong decisions are made. during the transition and diversification of our energy portfolio and our economy.

Walsh was invited to visit American Consolidated Natural Resources’ Golden Ridge Portal mine near Wheeling by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va. After the visit, Walsh said the Biden administration would not be an enemy of the coal industry.

“I felt it was really important for me to come down and get a feel for what the mine workers are doing” Walsh told our reporter. “I have a different understanding and appreciation of work. “

Understanding and appreciation is good, but will it translate into a bit of common sense and compassion as the policy is developed?

Manchin took the opportunity to chat with Walsh about the impact of the $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill and his desire to ensure that coal communities are not (yet) left behind as Washington, D.C. DC, move forward with new policies.

“I have always said that the transition to a cleaner energy future must come from innovation, not elimination, and the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate will do just that,” said Manchin.

But Walsh chose his words carefully.

“The president has objectives of carbon neutrality and alternative energy sources”, he said. “Sure, these conversations have to take place. We have an industry in which people work. They are also concerned about the future of their industry.

Those who work in coal are concerned about the future of their industry in a way that bureaucrats and politicians making decisions in Washington will never feel. But give Walsh credit for taking the trip underground and learning a thing or two. Now let’s hope he carries that understanding with him long enough to pass it on to those in the Biden administration who really need it.

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