Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Energy R Us

Speaking of energy, and more why Pittsburgh may already be Energy Burgh... take a look at the news on the beginning of construction of new nuclear power plants in China, but also this recent article from the Department of Energy on the status of new nuclear plant applications in the US. Not to forget about coal. Looks like the PG had a story on the impacts of high coal prices on consumers. That is very true, but that story overlooked the big local story on the impact of skyrocketing coal prices on local communities, especially metallurgical coal which has really jumped in recent months. There are significant economic impacts in the greater Appalachian economy resulting from coal price swings. If there are no other similarities, both the coal and nuclear industries are extreme cases of industries that saw very little growth in recent decades. The result was minimal hiring and a cohort of workers that aged in place which result in an imbalance in the timing of retirements. The nuclear workforce may be smaller more specialized, but the coal workforce in particular is resorting to new methods to find new recruits.


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