WHEELING, WV — “West Virginia lost 7,296 coal mining jobs from 2012 to 2015, the same period during which the number working in the solar power industry across the U.S. nearly doubled.
As West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania continue losing coal jobs, the number of solar power workers jumped by about 51,000 in 2016 to reach 260,077 — a number that dwarfs the 65,971 total U.S. direct coal mining jobs throughout the nation in 2015, which is the last year for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration has complete information.
Despite President Donald Trump’s promises of reinvigorating the coal industry — as well as actions to relax environmental restrictions on coal by members of the Republican-controlled Congress — solar power continues to become a larger portion of the nation’s electricity portfolio. There are now about four times as many solar industry jobs as there are direct coal mining jobs in the U.S.”
— Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer