There is no viable future for coal

(Opinion)Charleston Gazette-Mail  

  • By Eric Engle
  • May 12, 2023



As West Virginia political leaders clumsily continue clinging to coal, they’re being forced (at least quietly) to reckon with a hard truth: Coal doesn’t have a viable future.

To quote an article from West Virginia Public Broadcasting: “Members of the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy and Manufacturing were told Thursday that more than 12,000 megawatts of power will be added to the grid in the next several years. That includes about 10,000 megawatts of renewables and about 2,000 megawatts of natural gas. Combined, that’s nearly as much as the entire footprint of coal in West Virginia of 12,500 megawatts.”

The WVPB article also stated, “PJM [a 12-state grid operator that serves West Virginia] has a systemwide backlog of 252,665 megawatts in its interconnection queue, the line for new power resources to join the grid. More than half of that is solar. Much of the rest are wind and battery storage. Only 5,537 megawatts of natural gas are in the queue, and no coal.”