Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

On Energy, We Must Look to the Future, Not the Past

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

On Energy, We Must Look to the Future, Not the Past

Article excerpt

As Donald Trump takes office, many Western Pennsylvanians are eager to see him keep his promises to bring back coal mining jobs. Others, like me, recognize that those promises have always been impossible. Simply put, the economics of energy are working against them.

In recent years, abundant natural gas from fracking has displaced coal as the leading source of electrical energy, but that lead is likely to be temporary. The cost of solar and wind power has also been steadily decreasing. In many parts of the world, renewables are already the most economical source for generating electricity. Not only is the domestic market for coal disappearing, but also the international market will soon follow. In the next decade or two, oil and natural gas are likely to begin to decline as well.

I agree with Mr. Trump that the United States should be a world leader in energy, and that Western Pennsylvania's manufacturing and labor base can be an important source of that leadership. …

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