Interpreting CPP: how does a traditional coal state like West Virginia adapt to change?
Structural change at the intersection of energy and environment has rocked the US coal industry. Declining electricity demand and looming environmental regulations have led to over 30 GW of coal Electric Generating Unit (EGU) retirements in the past three years creating a period of coal over-supply to which the US is still adjusting. Announcements of mine closures and worker layoffs are set against the backdrop of near record low oil and natural gas prices - making recovery in the coal market seem far off. Further, world leaders are making commitments to lower their carbon emissions, often at the expense of coal. In this insight, we will examine some of the challenges and opportunities this structural change brings for coal producing states like West Virginia as the nation moves toward a new, lower-carbon future.