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But these ex-miners might find hope with a most unlikely employer: a wind power company.
The "Goldwind Works" program kicks off next month in Wyoming with informational meetings.
Coal workers are ideal because they have relevant electrical and mechanical skills as well as experience working under difficult conditions, explained David Halligan, Goldwind Americas chief executive.
"If you're a wind technician, you obviously can't be afraid of heights. You have to be able to work at heights, and you have to be able to work at heights in a safe manner," he told the Times.
Goldwind will supply up to 850 turbines for a project in Carbon County. About 200 workers will be needed to maintain and operate the plant once construction is complete.
Wyoming, which has waged a quasi-war on wind, happens to be the only state that that taxes wind energy production. However, the state also has some of the nation's best on-shore wind resources, with wind power constituting 8 percent of the state's energy.
"If we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the work force today, I think that it can be a win-win situation," Halligan said.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anita Desikan
The Trump administration is routinely undermining your ability — and mine, and everyone else's in this country — to exercise our democratic rights to provide input on the administration's proposed actions through the public comment process. Public comments are just what they sound like: an opportunity for anyone in the public, both individuals and organizations, to submit a comment on a proposed rule that federal agencies are required by law to read and take into account. Public comments can raise the profile of an issue, can help amplify the voices of affected communities, and can show policymakers whether a proposal has broad support or is wildly unpopular.
Picture this: a world where chocolate is as rare as gold. No more five-dollar bags of candy on Halloween. No more boxes of truffles on Valentine's day. No more roasting s'mores by the campfire. No more hot chocolate on a cold winter's day.
Who wants to live in a world like that?
By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.