CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The change of administrations will likely mark a huge shift in U.S. energy policy, and that could have a big impact on Appalachian States that produce coal and natural gas. For years environmentalists have been urging a shift to clean energy sources such as wind power and solar energy saying that’s the future.
“So jobs in renewables have been the, that’s the fastest growing job sector in the last couple of years. You know wind turbine operators, and constructions, solar jobs. But even more than that we are are looking at jobs in reclamation,” said Karan Ireland, Sierra Club, West Virginia Chapter.
At the same time President Biden has promised to greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce says that will be a job killer.
“We are sixth in the nation in terms of overall energy production. And the impact on our economy if we were to end those things, just abruptly shut them off, would be enormous,” said Steve Roberts, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
President Biden is reentering the Paris Climate Accords that former President Trump abandoned. The Sierra Club is backing Biden on that, but the chamber of commerce is not.
“The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce says it has an all-of- the-above strategy. Yes, it’s main focus is on fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. But it is open to expansion of solar and wind energy,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.