Clean energy jobs

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The Environmental Protection Agency just proposed regulations to control carbon dioxide pollution. This should be welcomed by anyone who cares about future generations. Scientists agree that CO2 contributes to global warming, a fact that is true whether we like it or not.

These regulations are a good first step, but we also need buy-in from other countries. The day after the EPA announced its regulations, China, the world’s largest contributor to global warming, announced its own emissions limits. That’s good news, too.

Coal and electric companies claim that these regulations will destroy jobs. We might believe them if they hadn’t cried wolf so often in the past.

The point is we’ll still need electricity. We’ll just have to get it from different sources. Clean energy jobs will open up. Yes, some coal miners will eventually lose their jobs. But these jobs can be replaced by safe jobs in clean factories that produce wind turbines and other equipment.

At age 9, my great-grandfather became a coal miner. My grandfather owned a coal mine west of Pittsburgh. I support unions. So I believe we owe it to coal miners to make sure they have either good pensions or good jobs in clean energy. There are fewer than 80,000 coal miners in the United States, so taking care of all miners is not that difficult.

State College, Pa.

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