The study noted that the CEO of Consol Energy earned about $14 million in 2012, more than enough to retrain all of the company’s employees for jobs in the PV industry. Arch Coal, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, paid its executives and directors more than $29 million in the year leading up to its bankruptcy filing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Next time a coal executive or politician tries to leverage the few remaining workers in the coal industry to a political win for themselves, think about this study. If they really cared about the workers they use and use up, they would have paid to transition them to the new solar economy long ago.
“If they’re going to use energy alternatives, why can’t they bring a solar panel plant here, or train us…to install them in the field? Coal miners are some of the most versatile people here on the planet,” former Emerald coal miner Bob Wilson told PublicSource in a June story about the future of Pennsylvania’s coal miners. “We’ve all run equipment, done welding, fabricating. We’ve built million-dollar belt drives from the ground up. We can do this stuff with a little bit of help.”