Coal all but dead

Brad Magnuson


Dem-NPL Renewable Energy Caucus

I would like to respond to the Brian Kroshus article in today’s Minot Daily Newspaper. I am the Chairman of the Dem-NPL Renewable Energy Caucus, and I would like to respond to what was said.

Coal is no longer a viable source of energy. Here in North Dakota, more wind farms are being built, to the point where this state gets almost 30% of its energy from wind power. As technology and battery issues have improved, the statement “the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine,” shows a complete lack of understanding of renewable energy, along with ignorance of renewable energy. If you take a look at the global picture, the coal industry is dying, and has been on a downward trend over the last 30-plus years. Since 2011, the coal industry has lost 63,000 jobs globally. In its heydays, the coal industry employed 380,000 people. Today, that number stands at under 50,000 globally.

More countries around the globe are divesting from coal, some already have. By 2045, for all intents and purposes, the coal industry will be a dead industry, as the world moves toward renewable energy. Also, Brian’s statement “clean energy is not exclusive to renewables,” is a false statement, as that is precisely what clean energy means. Just here in the U.S., we’ve lost over 1,000 coal jobs and counting. Here in North Dakota, we’ve had one coal plant shut down, two more are scheduled to be shut down, and rumor has it that a fourth one is also scheduled to be shut down. In 2022, two coal plants in Montana will be shut down. By 2025, one in Washington State will be shut down. One was recently shut down in New Jersey. Long term, coal is not a viable source of energy. Short term, until renewables become exclusive in North Dakota, coal is merely a backup source of energy, and not a primary source.


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