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Old 02-16-2017, 10:15 PM   #1
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Obama Didn't Kill Coal, the Market Did

Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan are describing it in apocalyptic terms. But much of what they believe about the plan -- that it will destroy the coal industry, kill jobs and raise costs for consumers -- is wrong. And it’s important to understand why."

As true as when it was written in 2015
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:08 AM   #2
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I understand the coal miners side. It is their lifestyle and their job. It is their way of feeding their families. I understand that they have some deep trust that Trump is going to single-handedly open the mines again.

I understand that the market for coal has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, if not longer, so many houses and businesses wouldn't be able to use coal even if it was being produced again at the amounts it was being produced before.

What I don't understand is, given how difficult and deadly working coal mines is, why coal miners wouldn't want to be trained in doing something else. Something less hazardous to their health. How do they figure they can support their families if they are dying of lung disease or caught in a cave-in? If they are being given an opportunity to improve their lives, the lives of their families, their children, why do they want the mines reopened?

I guess it comes back to the lifestyle. "My family has worked in the mines for generations so I should also" thinking. But then I want to shake them and say, "Your family has died because of those mines for generations, that doesn't mean you have to also."
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:11 AM   #3
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People like to dig holes in the ground. I understand the game Minecraft is immensely popular.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:17 AM   #4
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Changing times. Solar power employs more folk than coal mining. Coal is nasty stuff to burn. And mine.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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Classic essay by George Orwell: "Down the Mine." It's amazing what hard work coal mining was in 1937.

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It is impossible to watch the 'fillers' at work without feeling a pang of envy for their toughness. It is a dreadful job that they do, an almost superhuman job by the standard of an ordinary person. For they are not only shifting monstrous quantities of coal, they are also doing, it in a position that doubles or trebles the work. They have got to remain kneeling all the while–they could hardly rise from their knees without hitting the ceiling–and you can easily see by trying it what a tremendous effort this means. Shovelling is comparatively easy when you are standing up, because you can use your knee and thigh to drive the shovel along; kneeling down, the whole of the strain is thrown upon your arm and belly muscles. And the other conditions do not exactly make things easier. There is the heat–it varies, but in some mines it is suffocating–and the coal dust that stuffs up your throat and nostrils and collects along your eyelids, and the unending rattle of the conveyor belt, which in that confined space is rather like the rattle of a machine gun. But the fillers look and work as though they were made of iron. They really do look like iron hammered iron statues–under the smooth coat of coal dust which clings to them from head to foot. It is only when you see miners down the mine and naked that you realize what splendid men, they are. Most of them are small (big men are at a disadvantage in that job) but nearly all of them have the most noble bodies; wide shoulders tapering to slender supple waists, and small pronounced buttocks and sinewy thighs, with not an ounce of waste flesh anywhere. In the hotter mines they wear only a pair of thin drawers, clogs and knee-pads; in the hottest mines of all, only the clogs and knee-pads. You can hardly tell by the look of them whether they are young or old. They may be any age up to sixty or even sixty-five, but when they are black and naked they all look alike. No one could do their work who had not a young man's body, and a figure fit for a guardsman at that, just a few pounds of extra flesh on the waist-line, and the constant bending would be impossible. You can never forget that spectacle once you have seen it–the line of bowed, kneeling figures, sooty black all over, driving their, huge shovels under the coal with stupendous force and speed. They are on the job for seven and a half hours, theoretically without a break, for there is no time 'off'. Actually they, snatch a quarter of an hour or so at some time during the shift to eat the food they have brought with them, usually a hunk of bread and dripping and a bottle of cold tea. The first time I was watching the 'fillers' at work I put my hand upon some dreadful slimy thing among the coal dust. It was a chewed quid of tobacco. Nearly all the miners chew tobacco, which is said to be good against thirst.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:00 PM   #6
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Coal mining is no longer workers going down mine shafts to extract the stuff. It's energy companies blasting away mountain tops, hauling the coal away, and leaving the locals to suffer the environmental damage (soil erosion, water contamination etc). But hey, at least they're sticking it to those elitist liberal tree-huggers, right? The residents of Appalachia are being played for chumps by their corporate overlords with this phony "war on coal" propaganda.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:08 PM   #7
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You load 16 tons, and whaddaya get . . .
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KingOrfeo View Post
You load 16 tons, and whaddaya get . . .
...another day older and deeper in debt. I'm afraid that "white working class" Trumpkins have sold their souls to the company store.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharingfantasies View Post
I understand the coal miners side. It is their lifestyle and their job. It is their way of feeding their families. I understand that they have some deep trust that Trump is going to single-handedly open the mines again.

I understand that the market for coal has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, if not longer, so many houses and businesses wouldn't be able to use coal even if it was being produced again at the amounts it was being produced before.

What I don't understand is, given how difficult and deadly working coal mines is, why coal miners wouldn't want to be trained in doing something else. Something less hazardous to their health. How do they figure they can support their families if they are dying of lung disease or caught in a cave-in? If they are being given an opportunity to improve their lives, the lives of their families, their children, why do they want the mines reopened?

I guess it comes back to the lifestyle. "My family has worked in the mines for generations so I should also" thinking. But then I want to shake them and say, "Your family has died because of those mines for generations, that doesn't mean you have to also."
It's money. Miners get paid damn well for what they do.
Kids straight out of high school can make more in a year mining than a good portion of college graduates without spending the initial outlay in time and tuition.

Then they turn around and buy the new house and the new truck and the new snowmobiles.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
Coal mining is no longer workers going down mine shafts to extract the stuff. It's energy companies blasting away mountain tops, hauling the coal away, and leaving the locals to suffer the environmental damage (soil erosion, water contamination etc).
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf...on_Act_of_1977
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cfuhrer View Post
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060033248

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...rgy-s-collapse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_E...chemical_spill

This very weak regulation (companies are left to pretty much self-regulate) has been routinely violated by companies, with their paltry fines simply written off as the price of doing business. There are also laws against drug trafficking, but that's hardly stopped the Colombian and Mexican cartels, and the banks that launder their money.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:29 PM   #12
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This very weak regulation (companies are left to pretty much self-regulate) has been routinely violated by companies, with their paltry fines simply written off as the price of doing business.
You mean like the EPA at Gold King, Colo.?

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The EPA has taken responsibility for the incident, but refused to pay for any damages claims filed after the accident on grounds of sovereign immunity, pending special authorization from Congress or re-filing of lawsuits in federal court.[9] Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper declared the affected area a disaster zone. The spill affects waterways of municipalities in the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, as well as the Navajo Nation.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:48 PM   #13
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You mean like the EPA at Gold King, Colo.?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_G...te_water_spill

No, not at all, as this was a long derelict gold mine that had long been leaching waste water downstream already. The EPA was attempting to clean up the mess because (according to the Wiki article you quoted) local authorities refused EPA funds to clean it up themselves. And of course the mining company, who created the mess in the first place, pulled up stakes decades ago. Yes, EPA contractors badly botched the clean up effort and worsened an already bad situation, but this incident only further demonstrates my overall point...

Private mining companies foul the environment, and leave the clean up bill to us taxpayers. If the Republicans in Congress are really as concerned for the people affected by this disaster as they claim to be, they can authorize further payment of damages claims. But I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyNextDoor View Post
Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan are describing it in apocalyptic terms. But much of what they believe about the plan -- that it will destroy the coal industry, kill jobs and raise costs for consumers -- is wrong. And it’s important to understand why."

As true as when it was written in 2015
Obama threw dirt on the casket, but you're right, he didn't kill the US industry. But coal isn't dead just yet, it's just that it isn't growing. China, Japan, India, will continue to use the stuff, but China has put restrictions on coal, and china was the world's biggest user. India is ramping up coal use, but also looking at Renewables. Coal will be around for a while...
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:11 PM   #15
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Obama threw dirt on the casket, but you're right, he didn't kill the US industry. But coal isn't dead just yet, it's just that it isn't growing. China, Japan, India, will continue to use the stuff, but China has put restrictions on coal, and china was the world's biggest user. India is ramping up coal use, but also looking at Renewables. Coal will be around for a while...
Obama reached down and hamstrung them when they were down.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_G...te_water_spill

No, not at all, as this was a long derelict gold mine that had long been leaching waste water downstream already. The EPA was attempting to clean up the mess because (according to the Wiki article you quoted) local authorities refused EPA funds to clean it up themselves. And of course the mining company, who created the mess in the first place, pulled up stakes decades ago. Yes, EPA contractors badly botched the clean up effort and worsened an already bad situation, but this incident only further demonstrates my overall point...

Private mining companies foul the environment, and leave the clean up bill to us taxpayers. If the Republicans in Congress are really as concerned for the people affected by this disaster as they claim to be, they can authorize further payment of damages claims. But I'm not holding my breath.
So you're okay with the hypocrisy? That tracks.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:54 AM   #17
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So you're okay with the hypocrisy? That tracks
You mean the hypocrisy of the local government abdicating their responsibility by refusing EPA funds to clean up the mess made by a gold mine that shut down in 1923 themselves? Ignore the problem for decades and let the Feds take on the responsibility that should be theirs? And complain if things go wrong? I'm not saying the EPA is blameless, but the settlement for damages is still pending congressional authorization. I only hope that the EPA gets the authorization and funding from Congress to do right by the Navajo nation and others adversely affected by this environmental disaster.

Are you okay with the residents of West Virginia having their water contaminated by the recklessness of Freedom Industries in the Elk River chemical spill? Do you think "kids right out of high school" can earn a decent living building and maintaining wind turbines, installing solar panels, and upgrading the electricity grid? Or is tearing up the mountainsides for coal still the way to go?
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:00 AM   #18
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Clean, beautiful coal
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:15 AM   #19
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Obama reached down and hamstrung them when they were down.
Thats what I said, he threw dirt on the casket....
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:28 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
Private mining companies foul the environment, and leave the clean up bill to us taxpayers.
They don't clean up, they just bill taxpayers. It's a government extortion program.

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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
I only hope that the EPA gets the authorization and funding from Congress to do right by the Navajo nation and others adversely affected by this environmental disaster.
LOL.

The EPA is no longer a progressive weapon of social justice, them days are the fuck over.

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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
Are you okay with the residents of West Virginia having their water contaminated by the recklessness of Freedom Industries in the Elk River chemical spill?
Yep, that sounds like a West Virginia problem.

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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
Do you think "kids right out of high school" can earn a decent living building and maintaining wind turbines, installing solar panels, and upgrading the electricity grid?
Not at all, it's for uppity (D)'s only and I have a feeling those industries are going to be sucking without mega billions coming from (D) anymore.

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Or is tearing up the mountainsides for coal still the way to go?
Cheaper than poisoning the oceans for solar panels.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:07 AM   #21
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They don't clean up, they just bill taxpayers. It's a government extortion program.

LOL.

The EPA is no longer a progressive weapon of social justice, them days are the fuck over.

Yep, that sounds like a West Virginia problem.

Not at all, it's for uppity (D)'s only and I have a feeling those industries are going to be sucking without mega billions coming from (D) anymore.

Cheaper than poisoning the oceans for solar panels.
Your well reasoned and eloquent rebuttal, citing sources for you information, is truly thought provoking. I mean, who would have guessed that mining companies and the EPA have collaborated to form an elaborate extortion racket, that solar panels pollute the oceans, and that engineers, electricians and construction workers are all "uppity (D)'s?" Thank you and give my regards to Pepe.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
Your well reasoned and eloquent rebuttal, citing sources for you information, is truly thought provoking.
Any time.

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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
I mean, who would have guessed that mining companies and the EPA have collaborated to form an elaborate extortion racket
Anyone paying attention to US politics, just follow the money.

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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
, that solar panels pollute the oceans,
Easily found by google, making panels is nasty bidniz.

You should see the mines used to make all those fancy batteries for those "green" cars, some of which charge on dirty electricity.



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Originally Posted by Maidboy View Post
and that engineers, electricians and construction workers are all "uppity (D)'s?"
Those slaves? LOL they aren't making money.....they are just the slaves of the uppity (D)'s. They vote (D) because they know without (D) funding and protection they are fucked.

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Old 02-19-2017, 01:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharingfantasies View Post
I understand the coal miners side. It is their lifestyle and their job. It is their way of feeding their families. I understand that they have some deep trust that Trump is going to single-handedly open the mines again.

I understand that the market for coal has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades, if not longer, so many houses and businesses wouldn't be able to use coal even if it was being produced again at the amounts it was being produced before.

What I don't understand is, given how difficult and deadly working coal mines is, why coal miners wouldn't want to be trained in doing something else. Something less hazardous to their health. How do they figure they can support their families if they are dying of lung disease or caught in a cave-in? If they are being given an opportunity to improve their lives, the lives of their families, their children, why do they want the mines reopened?

I guess it comes back to the lifestyle. "My family has worked in the mines for generations so I should also" thinking. But then I want to shake them and say, "Your family has died because of those mines for generations, that doesn't mean you have to also."

A really great book about this whole theme was Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. He was from a tiny, depressing place in West Virginia where coal mining was the one and only thing to do, but he and his high school friends were inspired by Sputnik to get into the hobby of building their own rockets. As they get better and better at it (they eventually made it to the National Science Fair), the townspeople, including Hickam's father (a miner who has become a foreman), are torn between an attitude of "Oh, these smart kids think they're too good to do the work their fathers do?" and wanting to pitch in and do what they can to help, because even 60 years ago people were realizing that if there was an option other than working in a mine and dying young, it's one you needed to grab.

I'm sympathetic to these folks because it's so damn hilly there, you can't do much but mine. But telling people that what they need to do is pack up and move because their way of life is a dead end is a lot easier said than done. I've spent a lot of time in rural Maine, and it's much the same there.

I'm not a believer that the reasons Trump won were primarily economic, but that's not really a topic for this particular thread.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:55 AM   #24
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Anyone paying attention to US politics, just follow the money.

Yes. Follow the money all the way to the CEO's Cayman Island bank account.

Easily found by google, making panels is nasty bidniz.

Yes, all manufacturing processes pollute to some degree, but making solar panels isn't as nasty you make it out to be. But I'll concede that solar panel production in places with lax environmental regulation such as China is pretty nasty...

http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/...n-as-you-think

You should see the mines used to make all those fancy batteries for those "green" cars, some of which charge on dirty electricity.

I never brought up the subject of electric or hybrid cars, but yes I agree that they're not nearly as "green" as their proponents make them out to be. So you concede that coal generated electricity is dirty? What about wind turbines?

Those slaves? LOL they aren't making money.....they are just the slaves of the uppity (D)'s. They vote (D) because they know without (D) funding and protection they are fucked.
Okay, now you're just being silly. I did temp work for a major power company (producing training and project management videos) and the workers were paid very well indeed, most were pretty conservative politically, and almost all were enthusiastic about wind and solar generated electricity. And all were keenly aware of the need to upgrade our woefully inefficient electricity grid.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:59 AM   #25
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Excuse me for borking the block quotes!
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