Association Webinars: Rural America and the Transitioning to Renewables



Recent news reviews suggest that in 2020 power companies plan to close 13 coal plants in the US. Furthermore, the US Energy Information Administration estimates suggest that CO2 emissions from coal fell by almost 15% in 2019, reflecting a 16% decline in electricity generation from coal; its lowest level since 1976. However, what are the implications of these trends to rural America? The webinar sheds new light on this transition, as well as discuss challenges from traditional energy sources as the grid transitions to cleaner technologies.


Gal Hochman (Rutgers University) is the board chair of the Council On Food Agricultural & Resource Economics (C-FARE), and a resources economist Professor at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics at Columbia University in 2004. His work focuses on biotechnology, energy, the environment, and on trade agreements. Gal's work assessed the economic implications from allocating polluting rights to fossil extracting and fossil consuming countries. Gal has attended and presented papers at numerous conferences, including the ASSA, the ACS, the CEA, the Econometric Society, the EEA, and the USAEE and IAEE.


Rob Godby currently serves as the Associate Dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. He is also the Deputy Director of the Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis (CERPA) and an associate professor in the Economics Department at UW. Additionally, he also serves as a Daniel's Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow, and as an adjunct faculty member with the MBA program at Pforzheim University in Germany. In addition to his academic duties, he was appointed to serve on the State of Wyoming's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group in 2019. His research areas include natural resource, energy and environmental economics, industrial organization and macroeconomic policy, and he is often interviewed by the national and international media on energy and macroeconomic issues. Outside of work, Rob enjoys spending time being walked by his dogs. Other passions include sports-car and bicycle racing, both of which he has participated in rather unsuccessfully.
Topic: Tax comparison across states and the political challenges from traditional energy sources

Jeremy G. Weber is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. His research cuts across energy, the environment, and well-being and has a theme of being empirical, credible, and understandable. He regularly engages with non-academic audiences and has extensive policy experience, having worked at a Federal statistical agency (the USDA Economic Research Service) and the White House (the Council of Economic Advisers).
Topic: The collapse of coal and its local implications

Roger Coupal's (University of Wyoming) extension, research and teaching programs are concerned with natural resource policy and community development. His objective is to provide educational opportunities and information for students, community groups, and public officials engaged in policy issues that reside in the nexus of community development and natural resource policy.
Topic: Community economic impacts of coal fired power plant closures


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