Coal V. Wind - Employment

Mark Interrante made a tweet pointing out a blog post stating that There are currently more Wind Power jobs than Coal Mining Jobs. There seems to be some debate about the numbers, but it is clear that Wind is starting to supply a lot more jobs than a few years ago. This reminds me of an old saying from one of my high school teachers, "Political Power is more than numbers."

I wonder what kind of jobs the wind industry is making. Coal mining have a few things going for it that gives it a lot of political power. To start Coal mining is concentrated in a few states. This increases power because Politician from those areas are focused on protecting the industry. It also concentrates the wealth from the industry. If wind made less money it would not hurt California's Economy. If coal made less money it would destroy areas of West Virgina, Pennsylvania, Virgina, and Kentucky

Second is that coal mining brings a good living to blue collar workers. These jobs are highly unionized. That is a combination that usually means that politicians support those jobs. American politicians love industries where people can make good money without having more than a high school education. Unions are effective at getting politicians to act in their favor.

If wind power does not have a favorable demographics, it will need the help of other political constitutes to have the same level of political power.


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