Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sherrod Brown joins the Obama War on Coal

We've previously told you about the war that Barack Obama is waging on the coal industry. His declaration that he wanted to bankrupt coal plants apparently didn't phase Ted Strickland, who is out there making a fool of himself by claiming that Obama is actually a friend to coal.

Now fellow Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown has joined Obama in the trenches to destroy coal jobs and cheap energy for Ohioans, who get 86% of their electricity from coal. One of Obama's new regulations abuses executive power and is called Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or Utility MACT. It would make the building of new coal plants an impossibility and cost existing plants tens of billions of dollars to retrofit their systems. Many will choose to just close down like six of FirstEnergy's plants. And, just like Obama predicted, and desires, MACT will cause electricity rates to necessarily skyrocket.

Today, the Senate held a vote on a resolution that would have overturned Utility MACT. S.J. Resolution 37 failed by four votes. Sherrod Brown once again stood with Barack Obama and his extreme ideology, and sent a message to Ohioans that coal jobs and affordable energy just aren't as important as towing the line for Barack Obama.

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is running to replace Brown in the Senate, reacted with this statement (emphasis mine):
“Thirty-eight year politician Sherrod Brown’s vote to uphold the expensive Utility MACT regulation is a perfect example of how he has lost touch with the people he represents. Brown is fond of saying that choosing between jobs and environmental policy is a false choice, but today he used his vote on the Senate floor to make his choice clear by opposing coal jobs and coal-fired electricity plants. When it came down to it, Sherrod Brown did not have the courage to stand up to Barack Obama and radical environmentalists in order to protect jobs in Ohio’s coal industry. Ohio families should be concerned about the effect Sherrod Brown's vote will have on energy prices and the reliability of our power supply.

Sherrod Brown’s vote not only means higher electricity bills for families and businesses, it threatens the jobs of our fellow Ohioans that work in or around the coal industry. I have been in the mines and have stood shoulder to shoulder with the very coal miners that Sherrod Brown’s vote threatens to impact, and I will continue to do everything possible to protect their jobs, which begins with voters firing Sherrod Brown and changing Washington by changing the people we send there.”

When Obama couldn't even pass cap and trade with control of the House and a super-majority in the Senate, he famously boasted that in order to achieve his goal of bankrupting coal plants, he wasn't giving up. He declared that "cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat. It was a means not an end, and I am going to be looking for other means to address this problem." Now Sherrod Brown is supporting him and doing what he can to make electricity prices "necessarily skyrocket". Let's hope Ohioans fire Senator Sherrod Brown this November.


  1. Well, Cap & Trade Actually sucks because it uses the same market-based schemes and speculation responsible for the economic collapse to regulate industry. And largely, it has had the opposite effect of curbing global CO2 trades, evidenced by research in Europe.

    Beside that point, I'm surprised you had the cajones to write this post, seeing as how you railed against the anti-frack side of the fence (yes, it's me again). You see, Obama and the rest of the corporate-owned "Democrats" have bitten the fracking apple. They are disowning coal as a way to usher in natural gas, artificially raise its demand, and boost its prices, which are incredibly low because no one really wants the stuff. In fact, we export a great deal of natural gas because we don't use a lot of it here. So much for a domestic fossil fuel supply – just more of the same old industry lies.

    So yes, shame on Obama, shame on Sherrod Brown. But come on, they're hating on coal because they're loving on natural gas. Your arguments from post to post don't really paint a cohesive story.

    1. What a dumb response. I'm not allowed to criticize both anti-frackers and anti-coalers? (Yes I just made that up).

      Why not? Why do I have to pick "a side of the fence"? You insinuate that I have to be for one or the other. I don't. I like both forms of energy. They're both plentiful, cheap, and HERE. As far as competition between the two, I believe the market can take of that, if the government would let it.

  2. Anonymous, you're not paying attention!

  3. Confused @ Mr. Anonymous. You are not paying attention. Cap and trade is a thing of the past.

    Obama has made general statements on his support for natural gas, but also said more "regulations" need to be in place. But guess what, we don't know what those are, so lookout for future industry-breaking regulations.

    He is however 100 percent behind renewables and trying to manipulate demand. Not for natural gas - but all forms of renewables.

    Remember, it was the President's promise that under his Administration, "if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can, it's just that it will bankrupt them."

    Coal is our most reliable and affordable form of energy. Thanks to technological progress over the years it is also clean. Since 1970, use of coal for power generation has shot up 183% while emissions have dropped 75%.

    Coal is a way of life in parts of Ohio. And if Brown claims to support Ohio manufacturing, why is he supporting massive hikes in electricity by warring against coal?

    Don't believe me about the war on coal?

    So yes, shame on you Anonymous for your rambling fiction. You are a thorn and like to complain.

  4. Yeah, I mentioned Cap & Trade because Nick mentioned Cap & Trade. I hope your finger points in two directions.

    The Obama administration is currently pursuing a heavier drilling strategy than was pursued during the Bush administration. Fracking is at a 30 year high and continuing upwards, and oil drilling is past our previous peak in 2003. As for slapping heavy regulations on industry... Air and water quality aren't inherently anti-industry, they're pro-people. You should be concerned about public health, as any threat to it means an increase in tax spending on the healthcare system. As for the coal industry going bankrupt, well, that wasn't my point. I was calling out the author for railing on one energy policy while delivering another, more propagandist, version of Brown's and Obama's designs for coal. You are merely lapping up the hate rhetoric without asking any real questions of the author yourself, most likely because they already confirm your world view and feed into your pseudo-patriotic notions of how the "world" should be.

    And again, they're phasing out coal to pursue cleaner fuel in compliance with global standards. I don't know if you've read any science lately, but we have an emissions problem. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. I write this by the way, while there is a public health advisory across the East Coast for 15 different cities. That health advisory is concerned about smog, which is exacerbated by the increased humidity the coast has been experiencing lately. So, air pollution.

    And I know about coal. My family worked in the mines in West Virginia. An uncle lost his life down in the mines, another his arm and an eye. We visit an old mining colony every year where our friends still live, though the company who once owned the colony has since closed shop. I know the "way of life" you are talking about perhaps better than you do. You are making jingoistic arguments designed by their very rhetoric to circumvent meaningful discussion on energy policy, which is of significance.

    As for being a thorn and complaining... that is the rhetoric you use to dismiss your opponents, lacking any actual statistics or research to back up your own hemming and hawing. I get a Google alert hourly on energy policy throughout the US and 3rd base popped up. Because it's an Ohio blog (my homestate) it peaked my interest. I clicked through to find the same, meaningless right-wing arguments that proliferate through the consolidated news system. And so I commented. Forgive me for causing you any inconvenience. Forgive me for actually spending a portion of my daily routine doing energy research. Forgive me for caring that a blog in my homestate exists to spread lies equal to those it accuses others of spreading.

    A lesson for you, the world is not Left or Right, White or Black. These are dualistic structures that exist to keep you trapped within an acceptable framework of thought. It's only once you spend some time in between that you start to see the story being sold to you. Read, be critical. Question anything anyone tells you. Question what Nick tells you. Question what I tell you. Question what your own intuition tells you.

    1. Question everything, man! It's the evil corporations, man!

      You sound high, anonymous. Which leads me to believe you're the above pictured Senator.

    2. by the way, anonymous, the word is "piqued," not "peaked" - I also find it ironic that you speak about the "...same, meaningless right-wing arguments..." then go on to say "...the world is not Left or Right..."

    3. GOHP ... SB can't put that many words together.

  5. Anonymous - what I question is why you are not man (woman?) enough to put your name to your comments. Are you Barack hiding behind an anonymous screen name??

  6. Your responses speak for themselves. If you can't contribute to an intelligent debate, then don't bother commenting. Why don't you try attacking my argument instead of the ad hominem attacks you are targeting at me?

    As for both Obama and Brown, I think I made it clear in my first post I support neither of them. I don't identify as a Republican or a Democrat, nor will I be giving either presidential candidate my vote.

    1. now I am impressed - you have the progressive play book down to a T - when you don't like what people say, you argue and act like they don't know what they are talking about - then when they come back, you cry victim - and if you aren't going to vote for either candidate, then you have no place complaining and just need to be quiet

    2. Hey Bryan... stop fighting and educate.
      You are well informed, use that to educate not to tell someone to be quiet.

    3. "I don't know if you've read any science lately, but we have an emissions problem."

      "Your responses speak for themselves. If you can't contribute to an intelligent debate, then don't bother commenting."

      Ah yes, the fall back response for all liberal environmentalists: I read more than you, I'm smarter than you, you just need to be quiet and let me do what's best for you.

      The fact of the matter is, yes, WE do have an emissions problem. YOUR problem is that it is no longer a US problem, it is a global issue. China passed the US in emissions several years ago. India is gaining and, for all their fancy emissions laws and scheme's, the real numbers show the gap between US emissions and EU emissions is narrowing. Placing more and more strict regulations on US coal mining and coal fired power plants will only encourage increased exports of coal to China and India where it will be burnt with little concern for the global environment.

      Coal is a vital US resource, for our economy both today and in the future. We're burning it hotter and cleaner than ever before. Do you know what emissions are to a power plant? LOST MONEY! Emissions at a power plant means energy they were not able to harness. Today though, technology is narrowing the gap between power generated and emissions lost. In the future, with technologies like carbon sequestration and coal to liquid technologies will allow even more efficient use of coal.

      At the end of the day, the "beyond coal" crowd are misguided, misinformed, and general confused. We all want clear air and water, and regulations in place well before the Obama administration made great strides in that field. Now, the job of the EPA should be how to balance the progress we've made cleaning up our environment with the need for affordable, plentiful energy.

      Unfortunately, the Obama EPA has decided to take a purely anti-coal position without the backing of solid science, often without holding public hearings AS IS REQUIRED BY LAW, without concern for the economic impact of their actions, and without worrying about what will replace the massive role coal plays in powering this country.

      The administration and Senators like Brown are more concerned with pleasing a radical part of their grassroots base than they are in creating sound, centrist policies. It’s because of arrogant political miscalculations such as this that these people will be rightly turned out of office this fall.

  7. @ uninformed Anonymous - Huh? I don't understand you, but am grateful you take the time to comment on blog posts like me. Yes, I did write cap & trade is a thing of the past because Nick referenced as so in his post.
    Propagandist? What's propagandist about Obama never once mentioning coal of the fact that there's a 250 year supply of it in America? Stop drinking from the teet. I don't need to question the author because I'm smart enough to find the answers myself. (Unlike you apparently.)
    Pseudo-patriotic? I vote. And I believe in something that IS American.
    I don’t think I ever supported air pollution. There’s something called the Clean Air Act which dictates what can and cannot be emitted into the atmosphere. The industry merely complies.
    And if you’re mining story is true, than I am truly sorry for your loss. But as you never mentioned the name of the town you visit every year (maybe google one first?) and as you wrote that you know the mining “way of life” better than I do (when I never said I knew it in the first place) indicates to me that you’re just using fiction to try and best me behind a smoke-screen screen-name for the environmental group you work for.
    If you did have a mining heritage you would be in love with coal because it built the town your “family” lives in. You see, towns like this receive a portion of the coal severance tax levied on coal companies in the state to build hospitals, fire stations, police stations and more. This money built the hospital housed your uncle and paid the nurses that mended his arm and eye so he didn’t suffer the same fate as his brother. And if they hated mining so much, why didn’t they move?
    You see, people in the Appalachia love coal. And it’s apparent by the massive 5K and 10K person rallies that were held down there last month protesting the war on coal. No, I wasn’t there because I live in Columbus. But I do read the newspaper every day and read websites. (Who uses the word “jingoistic” anyway? I had to look that up on the internet.) Someday you should take a trip to parts of Ohio that depend on coal like Belmont, Perry, Harrison, Jefferson, and Tuscarawas counties.
    The coal industry is actually leading the way for reforestation efforts. They are responsible for the reintroduction of the extinct American Chestnut (Jockey Hollow mine site in Ohio) and other indigenous hardwoods, and it’s working. Moreover, Ohio is a center for developing new clean coal technology, of which some is moving into implementation today. Check out research at Ohio State or Battelle sometime. Much of this research is funded in part by coal.
    Developing a new energy policy is important. And coal needs to be a part of it.
    Anonymous, I applaud you for using big words, commenting on blogs and urging everyone to educate / question others. And in fact, I encourage you to continue doing energy research for the extremist organization you work for and commenting on blogs because some of your lies are funny.
    A lesson for you, do better research. Or at least pretend to. Read science. And stop using the same extremist language that everyone else does. Get some facts next time. Forgive me for applauding Nick for reflecting on something I believe in. Don’t get so thorny…Maybe don’t attack first next time? And also, maybe stop supporting Obama’s war to manipulate the energy market. Go from this comment in peace.

  8. And as to your water point, runoff from agricultural waste and chemicals pollutes more streams than all of the coal mining operations in Appalachia. Don’t just take my work for it, check with the Soil and Water Resources in the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. You’ll find the facts, but that just serves to underscore the credibility of those who choose to ignore them.

  9. The sooner we can have shortages of coal then the more profit that providers can make, so providers love that you want it cheap now so they can rape you later. History shows what really happens and why it pays to invest in possible better options instead of letting yourself be screwed by your ability to be infulenced by big money.


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