Wisconsin

Expert Voices

Renewables are pulling ahead in formerly coal-heavy states

coal-fired power plant
A coal-fired power plant outside Kingston, Tennessee. Photo: Paul Harris/Getty Images

Thanks to the declining costs of wind and solar energy, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico and other states have made plans to retire old coal plants early — paving the way for deeper penetration of clean energy.

The big picture: At least 36 gigawatts (GW) of the country's 260 GW of existing coal generation are forecast to close by 2024, continuing the trend from last year's record 15 GW of coal retirements. These transitions are often moving ahead without political pressure and in states that lack renewable energy mandates.

Midwest flooding is causing an exodus of U.S. workers

Floodwaters in Hamburg, Iowa, March 20. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Workers are permanently moving from flood-ravaged towns and cities in the U.S. Midwest, an exodus that could hurt already-struggling manufacturing and agriculture companies, according to a new report.

What's happening: Flooding last month from heavy rains caused more than $3 billion in damage in Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin and elsewhere, AP reports. Among companies sustaining damage were Big Ag's Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and Tyson.