A wind turbine is seen near Pinnacle Wind Farm in Keyser, West Virginia. This onetime coal town is emblematic of a nation-wide attempt to shift to renewable energy.

Keyser, West Virginia, was once known for coal. But the jobs have been disappearing since the 1970s. First because of automation, then cheap natural gas. And now, the urgency to address climate change is one more pressure on this energy source that contributes to global warming.

Now the town, like so much of the country is attempting to transition to renewable energy. The country’s first major climate policy, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, gave that transition a boost. It passed with the key vote of West Virginia’s own Senator Democrat Joe Manchin.

Keyser represents a national shift in American energy production. And in a town that was defined by coal for generations, change can be difficult.

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(Image credit: Haiyun Jiang)


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