Reckoning in Coal Country

By Mason Adams and Dustin Bleizeffer

From the hills of West Virginia to the wind-swept prairies of Campbell County, Wyoming, journalists Mason Adams and Dustin Bleizeffer explore the cultural, political and economic obstacles faced by rural communities hoping to survive and thrive in a world without coal.

Appalachia and Wyoming are dramatically different places, but they also offer each other cautionary tales, success stories, and reasons for resilience and hope. While the story continues to unfold, Reckoning in Coal Country provides a snapshot of these communities at a critical inflection point in American history.

Produced in partnership with WyoFile and with funding from the Just Transition Fund, Reckoning in Coal Country is a vital resource for anyone seeking to understand the challenges faced by rural communities in the transition away from fossil fuels.

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Closing the Cloud Factories (2014)

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By Kari Lydersen

At the turn of the millennium, the Fisk and Crawford power plants in Chicago had declined from workhorses of the Industrial Revolution to arcane relics – more notorious for polluting the nearby Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods than for providing electricity.

Author, journalist and Pilsen resident Kari Lydersen tells the story of how a fragmented coalition of neighborhood activists, national environmental groups and city leaders came together to close the coal plants down for good.

Richly detailed and expertly reported, Closing the Cloud Factories chronicles a groundbreaking victory in the environmental and social justice movements, and how neighborhood activists helped spearhead a cause that resonated worldwide.

empowered coverEmpowered (2015)

By Bentham Paulos

Energy in America is undergoing a period of rapid change, driven by new technologies, consumer empowerment, and the imperative to reduce emissions that cause global warming.

But people who want to save energy or install solar panels are finding their efforts are at odds with utilities seeking to preserve their profits. Seeing an existential threat to their business model, utilities across the country are pursuing policy changes that will make it less viable for customers to generate their own electricity.

Impatient with the slow pace of change at the state level, an increasing number of cities — such as Boulder, Minneapolis and Madison — took matters into their own hands as their citizens sought energy that is local, affordable, and clean.

Empowered describes how city officials and activists in Boulder, Minneapolis, and Madison fought back against entrenched utilities, and took charge of their energy future.

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