Sunday, June 8, 2014


OK, if you are a capitalist, as I am, there is no “war” on coal.

Since the 1980's, coal jobs have been declining...for many reasons.

One, new technology. The long wall miner etc. mechanized mining, throwing miners out of work. The coal hauling railroads switched from coal-powered engines to diesel, remember..all because each technology made coal production cheaper..and the mine owners are capitalists..and have been for decades, even when we called them “robber barons.”

Even cheaper coal mining in Wyoming helped decrease jobs in Appalachia. Then came fracking and cheaper supplies of natural gas---the chief  culprit in losing coal jobs in Kentucky—and yes, the Green Revolution which sought to make our air and water cleaner. But that was probably one of the lesser causes of losing coal jobs. (And if you grew up in smoky coal towns, where some days you could cut the air with a knife, or watched streams that started clean at the top of the hill run orange and black at the bottom, you were concerned, you had to be. And BTW, new rules cutting smokestack emissions were issued by administrations long before Obama.)

So let’s realize the “War on Coal” for what it is…a cynical, politically motivated, nonfactual ploy by the coal industry, the U-S Chamber of Commerce, the GOP, and those who don’t believe in climate change to try to sell Kentucky a bill of goods..and in the process re-elect certain people to office.

This is NOT to be construed as an endorsement for any candidate, not the least Alison Lundergan Grimes..who has an unenviable role straddling the fence..when she knows, as Mitch does… the real facts about coal, and the industry’s loss of jobs.

Let me say again..I believe coal CAN be made clean..I just don’t see the industry and the “Friends of Coal” taking any serious steps in that direction.

I'm just sayin'...

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