Local Impacts of the US Energy Transition

As our economies transition away from the use of fossil fuels, we know that we’re all in for a bit of an adjustment.  But these adjustment pressures wont’ be evenly distributed.  Places that mine coal or extract oil or natural gas will feel the brunt of these impacts, which have been underway for some time. Lots of other places need to be better prepared for the energy transition, according to a useful new analysis from Resources for the Future (RFF).  The RFF study, Mapping County-Level Exposure and Vulnerability to the US Energy Transition, ranks US counties most at risk in the ongoing energy transition.  The general findings are no big surprise:  places in Texas are at risk due to oil and natural gas activity and places in Pennsylvania will be impacted by declines in fracking. Many other places also face potential (and perhaps less well understood) vulnerabilities due to the local presence of coal or natural gas power plants. The study seeks to identify these locations so that more targeted and focused investments and other aid can be provided to help these communities support a just transition from heavy dependence on fossil fuels.