Many in Southwest Virginia and the greater Appalachia region have built their livelihoods on mining coal and all the subsidiaries that support the industry. During the Obama years, the federal government sought to upend the coal industry, making way for a new era of green energy projects – those roiling successes like Solyndra, Abound Solar, First Solar, A123 Systems, among others that cost taxpayers over $2 billion, all of which went bankrupt, according to the Institute for Energy Research.
During this time, many people within the coal industry lost their jobs. Well, green energy has its consequences, right?
The only things that America got out of the Obama Administration’s green energy stimulus packages were longer lines at the unemployment offices and cronyism with a massive cost. Meanwhile, the dream of U.S. energy independence seemed to turn into a nightmare.
While many of the environmental regulations that crushed the coal industry for eight years have been rolled back under President Trump, this coming midterm election cycle, if Democrats take back the House of Representatives, that may change.
During a recent speech at the Global Climate Action Summit in California, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) lauded the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” initiative, which aims to “retire one-third of the nation’s more than 500 coal plants by 2020.”
Pelosi, who believes that she is only months away from again becoming the speaker of the house, said, “Under President Obama, we went on to pass the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House. But we were stopped in the Senate by the coal industry,” according to a report from NTK Network.
Passed by the House in 2009, the legislation would have directed electric utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources by 2020. It also would have subsided the aforementioned massive failures that were supposed to give the U.S. cleaner, alternative resources of energy. Though, they were subsidized anyways without the legislation.
Moreover, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the reductions in carbon pollution required by the bill would have cost American families “less than a postage stamp per day (about $13.20 a month, and $160.60 a year).” For those of you sitting around all day mailing packages, it’s a great deal, isn’t it?
Pelosi continued in her speech saying, “I’m so grateful to Michael Bloomberg’s ‘Beyond Coal’ initiative working with the Sierra Club. It is so essential.”
Yes, the same Michael Bloomberg who loves to tax people for consuming fizzy, sugary drinks. Yes, the same Michael Bloomberg who unashamedly brags about how much he enjoys raising taxes on poor people.
According to the Beyond Coal initiative’s website, the “main objective is to replace dirty coal with clean energy by mobilizing grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for the retirement of old and outdated coal plants and to prevent new coal plants from being built.” The Beyond Coal initiative hopes to close, “one-third of the nation’s more than 500 coal plants by 2020,” and to “[keep] coal in the ground in places like Appalachia and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.”
The initiative website video also says that they are “ahead of schedule” in uprooting America’s coal industry. They say that they are going from beyond coal to – wait for it – beyond goal.
Anyways, there is no mention whatsoever about what exactly will replace America’s antiquated coal power plants. The initiative is based on advocacy, activism, grassroots organization, hacky sack tournaments, locally-sourced kale, and whatever else that dodges the inevitable. What replaces coal? There is no solution here.
If the proposed solutions are anything like Obama’s green energy projects, run for the hills or politicians will catch you and shake you upside down to pay for more failing solar panel and battery companies with the coins in your pockets.
It’s all fine and well to be against coal, but if there’s no proposed answer to the energy demands that will occur when 500 coal plants are put out of business, it doesn’t count as an “alternative.” For them, the alternative for U.S. energy production that isn’t coal is just to not produce energy.
While they often tout solar, wind, geothermal, and magic as general alternatives to fossil fuels, all the money that could be used to conduct research or manufacture a working prototype of and energy generator is spent on massive signs to put around oil rigs and coal plants and feeding hungry protesters running about in the streets, screaming into the heavens for Mother Gaia to release her power unto the Earth and smite all those who dare charge their phone using energy produced by “dirty coal.”
Not to mention the tens of thousands of people that would automatically be put out of work if one-third or one-half of the coal industry was abruptly halted.
Nevertheless, progressive initiatives like this always work exactly the same. Identify what you think is a problem, scream about it, start a fundraising movement to make witty t-shirts, videos, and websites, conduct marches and protests, more screaming, blame Republicans, and then never provide a solution to the problem that will be created by the initiative in the first place.