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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A global transition is underway from coal to renewable energy, but a corresponding jobs shift is far less certain.

Driving the news: Wind-industry jobs aren’t a “feasible” replacement for local coal-mining jobs in the world’s four biggest coal-producing nations, and although solar is better situated than wind, it would require a massive buildout, a new peer-reviewed report finds.

Why it matters: As the world moves to cleaner kinds of energy, concern is growing about what happens to the people employed in heavy-polluting industries, especially coal. Indeed, such a progression is already rapidly underway in America.

How it works: The report, published last month in the Environmental Research Letters journal, analyzed the wind and solar resources of coal-mining regions in the U.S., China, India and Australia.

  • Noting that most coal miners don’t migrate when they’re laid off, the report sought to answer the question of whether renewable-energy jobs could be created in the same areas where coal is mined.
  • It concluded that it’s just not windy enough in those countries’ coal-mining regions for wind energy to be a viable replacement.
  • Solar was better situated for replacing coal-mining jobs in Australia, India and America, but not in China.

By the numbers... In the U.S.:

  • Nearly two-thirds — 62% — of coal-mining areas are suitable for solar power.
  • To ensure miners in those areas could transition to solar, 143 gigawatts of solar power — or nearly three times America’s current capacity of solar — would be needed.
  • That would mean at least two-thirds of current coal miners could transition to solar-energy jobs — assuming the buildout and necessary retraining — occurs.
  • Wyoming is the only state in the U.S. where wind jobs could be a feasible option for coal miners.

Go deeper: Coal miners being trained to work in alternative energy

Go deeper

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.