Trump Picks Economic Winners- Guided by Nostalgia – The New York Times

A decade ago, coal provided nearly half of America’s electricity. That share has since plummeted to less than one-third, as coal has been driven out of the market by stricter pollution regulations and a glut of cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing. Wind and solar power, while starting from a small base, have grown at double-digit rates each year as the technology improves and costs drop.The jobs have followed: The number of American coal miners has fallen from more than 80,000 in 2008 to about 53,000 today. The solar industry alone now employs twice as many people as the coal industry does. Solar installers, wind technicians and oil and gas drill operators are all expected to be among the fastest-growing occupations over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.“Ten years ago, the joke among industry players was that renewables were the energy source of the future and always would be,” said Andy Karsner, a former assistant secretary of energy in the George W. Bush administration. “Problem is, that future has arrived, and coal is now the energy source of the past and always will be.”

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