States banning coal — including Hawaii — had mostly already committed to reducing carbon emissions.
As coal plants retire, they leave behind power lines and grid connections that can be a big asset to renewable developers.
The coronavirus pandemic has hammered healthcare systems for rural populations already struggling with the loss of coal jobs and health coverage.
As the long-shrinking coal industry hemorrhages jobs, states and local groups are seeking new ways to transition to a lower-carbon economy without leaving coal workers behind.
Coal communities in Appalachia and Wyoming are vital revenue engines for huge portions of the rural U.S., and they face devastation with little time to adjust to new realities.