New Coal Mine Opens, Employs Just 70 People
Is this what Donald Trump meant when he campaigned on being the "greatest jobs president that God ever created"?
"When I ended the 'war on coal,' I said I would put our incredible miners—and that's what you are, incredible—back to work," Trump said after the mine opened last Thursday, likely forgetting that his budget slashes 40 percent, or about $1 billion, from federal job training programs.
Corsa Coal Company CEO George Dethlefsen said 400 people applied for the 70 positions available at the new mine.
Dethlefsen said the mine will help the area's struggling economy but as Quartz pointed out that's "significantly fewer than the 92 jobs created by the opening of one American supermarket on average."
Most of the coal isn't even staying in the country. According to PennLive, "as for where the coal ultimately ends up, as much as 85 percent could be exported overseas to make steel in countries such as South Korea, Turkey, Egypt and Brazil, Corsa officials say."
Even though Dethlefsen praised Trump for easing regulations and encouraging fossil fuel exploration, FactCheck.org reported that the administration had nothing to do with the Acosta mine opening as development began in September, or before the 2016 election.
"The opening of the Acosta mine has nothing to do with U.S. federal policy," Trevor Houser, a partner with the economic research company Rhodium Group, told FactCheck. That's because the mine produces metallurgical coal, which is used for iron and steel-making, whereas thermal coal is used for energy generation.
As FactCheck explained, about 90 percent of U.S. coal production is thermal coal "and it has not been doing well at all in recent years," with coal consumption down nearly 18 percent between 2012 and 2016. And while Trump has added about 1,000 total coal jobs since taking office, the current number of coal mining jobs, 51,000, is 43 percent lower than in January 2012.
Meanwhile, America's clean energy jobs have soared, with solar employment expanding 17 times faster than the overall economy and wind turbine technicians are expected to be the fastest-growing occupation over the next 10 years.
However, it's unclear how long this growth might last with Trump's proposal to cut about 70 percent from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's budget.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.