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Why Broadband is a Better Bet than Coal for Rural America


In my years as CEO of two different power-supply electric coops, one in Kentucky and the other in Colorado, I came to deeply appreciate the hardworking coal miners whose tough jobs had always been so indispensable to power generation.

I felt for those miners as the forces of regulation and economics shifted our coal-powered industry toward natural gas. Across coal country, proud and vibrant small towns suffered enormously as mines closed and good-paying jobs faded. They suffer still.

For those mining towns, it would be wonderful if coal could once again be king. The truth is that no amount of political rhetoric can alter a fundamental reality of the U.S. energy system: Coal has no chance of competing with natural gas. Not only is natural gas cheaper and cleaner than coal, but gas-fired generating plants also are easier to permit and faster to build.

Read the full article in Electric Light & Power here.

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