27 Mar 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis wreaks havoc on nearly every part of the nation’s energy sector, now is not the time for partisan fights over which industries and energy sources deserve government support. Yet that’s exactly what has happened.The coal industry has asked and will continue to advocate for relief to weather the coronavirus pandemic. But the usual critics have launched determined opposition. It doesn’t require reading between the lines to understand the thrust of their message: “While it’s important to preserve American industry and American jobs in this dire moment, coal jobs and coal country can take a back seat.” That stance is as absurd as it sounds. Coal continues to provide roughly a quarter of the nation’s electricity generation. And in many states, coal is the leading fuel for electricity generation. In regional electricity grids across the country, coal plants often play an irreplaceable role in ensuring affordable, reliable power where communities need it most. This is an essential industry and it deserves smart, targeted support.