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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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    It never ceases to amaze me that some here are so politically stuck that they deny reality:   

 

    

The utility owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona have voted to shut down the 2,250-MW coal-fired power plant in December 2019.

The decision to close the plant on tribal land near Page along the border with Utah was based on the “rapidly changing economics of the energy industry,” which has seen natural gas prices sink to record lows, the plant’s owners said.

 

Plant operator Salt River Project (SRP) said, “NGS and its employees are one reason why this region, the state of Arizona and the Phoenix metropolitan area have been able to grow and thrive. However, SRP has an obligation to provide low-cost service to our more than 1 million customers and the higher cost of operating NGS would be borne by our customers.”

The utility cited a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory that suggests a power price turnaround for the plant “might be years away, especially if natural gas prices remain low.”

 

Reality must really suck for some, so they vote for someone that lies about reality.   

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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As times and market forces change, it appears Coal will go by the wayside on its own. So goes progress. To me, the real issue on coal is how our current Prez used the miners as an example of how he would " MAGA", insinuating of course he would bring economic prosperity back to areas that were once powerhouses, like my county here in Michigan used to be when Ihit the job market. We all know thats not going to happen, but it sounds good and is an appealing message. It would be great if my kids and grands had a choice of careers in a 35 mile radius that paid what amounts today to 80k/years with benefits and pension. Aint happening. what IS happening is retired coal miners are losing the health care when Trump promised he would take care of them. 

So it begins.
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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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@umbarch64 wrote:

Without cause, you seem to place this group in the same category as anarchists whose primary aim is to destroy and not fix established institutions


--

To the contrary, what I gather is that USERS of resources are considered in the same category as anarchists.

 

But contrary to your post, the topic isn't about me or anyone here, but about the use of coal.

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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@lk152 wrote:

Tex, I respect your positions on the issues even though I do not agree with every one. I saw first hand the environmental damage that is done by strip mining of coal in Appalachia.



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Your post is as usual full of extensive autobiographical information, but doesn't cover the actual use and need for coal.  I agree that the mining is a dirty job and is often disruptive to the earth, and I don't agree with the leveling of mountains.  So is the oil business disruptive including laying and maintaining pipelines for moving it from place to place.  The same can be said about fracking which has consequences.

 

As far coal and the environment, there are different varities of which some is cleaner burning than others.  And even the use of petroleum has it's pollution effects.  Nuclear energy results in waste material which lasts thousands of years.  Damming rivers results in the loss of habitat for animals, including moving people from homes.  The Tennessee River dams resulted in uprooting people from homes their ancestors settled in pioneer days.

 

Of course bringing electricity to the Tennessee River area did furnish power for industry.  That was no doubt the reason for Oak Ridge being selected as one location for development of the atomic bomb.  It also brought industrial plants to the area.  But even in operationing the power plants associated with the TVA, coal operated generators are used at some locations to produce electricity.

 

So what do you suggest?  Solar power?  Can that provide the energy the nation requires?   Any other method also requires some sort way of generating it.  Any method suggested would have to use some non-renewable resource.  Even solar and wind-power requires some disruption of nature in the manufacture of required materials for production.

 

 

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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@TxGrandpa2 wrote:

Well perhaps more pipelines like the Keystone Pipeline, the Dakato access, etc is needed across the country to cease the country's dependence on coal?

 

A certain segment is against nuclear power, gas and oil, etc. so apparently some will never be pleased.  Then there's those like in one state that claims using solar energy will soak up the rays of the sun.


I saw the lk152 and your posts to date.  You seem to presume that more pipelines, whether gas or oil, WILL inevitably be the result of our continued energy demands should coal be removed from the energy equation.  Inferred is the presumption that water, wind, solar and perhaps tidal power generation CANNOT meet those demands, no matter what.  Is that correct?  If so, do you have validated evidence supporting that opinion?  If so, please cite your sources and, if necessary, stipulate how they were 'validated'.

 

Your presumption seems to be based on what you consider to be an irrational and illogical resistance to development of nuclear, gas or oil alternatives to current reliance on coal.

 

Without cause, you seem to place this group in the same category as anarchists whose primary aim is to destroy and not fix established institutions.  Do you think that is what these folk really are?  If so, are they part of a larger more widespread anarchist conspiracy out to destroy the US and any other organized society on the planet? IF so, do they have a name?

 

You did not identify environmentalists per se.  IF other than environmentalists are in the group you cite that oppose coal, oil, gas and nuclear electrical power generation, for the reasons you allude to, could you tell us who these guys are?  That's important.  We really do need to know who or what the 'enemy' really is.

 

Next questions, second paragraph...what, if any, relationship exists between the group in the first sentence and the one you allude to in the second?  Are they the same people? Are they ALL environmentalists or 'opposite ends of the stick'? 

 

Just some of the 'what, who, when, where, why' issues you raise.  But wait!  There's More!!!!  [to be continued]   

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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Tex, I respect your positions on the issues even though I do not agree with every one. I saw first hand the environmental damage that is done by strip mining of coal in Appalachia. I also spent some time working with a rep in the eastern Kentucky coal country near Pikeville back in the mid 1980s. Even then, many there realized that the days of coal were numbered. Coal mines were closing even then. 

 

I was living in Lexington Kentucky then and one of the largest coal companies in eastern Kentucky had been acquired by BP America and most of their executives and managers were being transferred from Lexington to Cleveland where BP America was headquartered at that time. BP America was acquired by Amoco in 1999 and their headquarters moved to Chicago. 

 

I knew several managers from that coal company through my Lion's Club and they said even then that there was no future in coal which is why the company was acquired by BP America. That was more than thirty years ago. 

 

Even then the University of Kentucky and Lexington Community College developed educational programs designed for displaced coal miners to learn new things so they could be prepared for the jobs of the future. At the time I was living in Lexington, Toyota announced the construction of a massive auto plant north of Lexington in Georgetown and the University of Kentucky announced a new robotics program at the university to teach people how robots work in an industrial surrounding and how to program them. Thousands of new jobs were created by the construction of that new Toyota plant in Georgetown. 

 

People from Toyota travelled to eastern Kentucky to recruit potential employees from the coal country. Of course they would either have a very long commute to their jobs or they would have to relocate to the Georgetown area. Another item was that many of those potential employees would have to learn some robotics so they could work in the new auto plant and the company even offered to reimburse the cost of education and even offered loans to finance the education. 

 

That Toyota plant opened in the late 1980s after I had left Lexington. So i don't know how many people from eastern Kentucky actually relocated to the Georgetown area or bothered to learn robotics so they could work at the Toyota plant. But what I did learn from that experience is that although coal jobs were in decline even thirty years ago, there were other opportunities opening in other areas and industries where those displaced coal miners could find good paying jobs if they were willing to learn new things and perhaps relocate where the jobs would be. 

 

Tex, when the steel mills began closing in Youngstown Ohio back in the late 1970s, many of those displaced workers migrated out of Youngstown and many went to Texas because of job opportunities that existed there at that time. I knew a few who made that move. No doubt those who migrated elsewhere where good paying jobs were available have done well for themselves while those who remained behiind in Youngstown hoping for a steel revival have suffered. 

 

Tex, I also agree that the United States should consider nuclear energy as a source for power. But nuclear energy is not cheap and nuclear power plants have a life of forty to fifty years. Many nuclear power plants are nearing the end of their useful life and will be decommisisoned within the next decade. With that in mind, I believe that there will be increased interest in nuclear energy. Since the TMI accident in 1979, regulations have been tightened regarding nuclear energy. 

 

Even back in the 1970s, I was in favor of safe development of nuclear energy. Of course that put me at odds with the Sierra Club and I caught a lot of flak over that. But as a popular slogan of that era went: "opposition to blind progress, not blind opposition to progress". As for myself, I would much rather be living downwind from a nuclear power plant than a coal fired power plant. 

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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@lk152 wrote:

Tex, the Keystone pipeline may never be profitable and could lose a lot of money for its investors. In case you haven't read the news lately, that pipeline has been shut down over a leak that is much worse than earlier thought. 

 



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The illustration was in reference to your continued labeling of coal.  Sure there are types that are not clean burning, but the alternative is pipelines criss-crossing the country.  And with results as you just illustrated about leaks.  Leaks are not the only problems, but destroying people's property when buried.

 

And there are areas where coal is more economical than oil or gas.  You frequently post about Appalachia, and I get the idea it isn't complimentary on your part.  I grew up there and even have been in areas of the world that would make people there appear to be wealthy.  I will say that I've known people there that were more honest than most other places in this country.

 

But for those people coal is the most economical way for heating and cooking.

 

And I am very familiar with the price of oil since I live in oil country, and also have a son who is an executive with a well known international oil company.  Those prices are based on oil futures mostly. 

 

Personally I believe in nuclear energy and believe the government should encourage more nuclear plants around the country.

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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Tex, the Keystone pipeline may never be profitable and could lose a lot of money for its investors. In case you haven't read the news lately, that pipeline has been shut down over a leak that is much worse than earlier thought. 

 

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/news/keystone-pipeline-oil-spill-south-dakota/

 

Oil prices are at near record lows (adjusted for inflation) and do not show any sign of increasing. With Iranian oil being available on the international markets as a result of the lifting of economic sanctions, oil prices may stay low. 

 

The Keystone pipeline mostly benefits the Koch Brothers since Koch Industries is the largest single lease holder in the Alberta Tar Sands. Extracting the oill from those tar sands is more expensive than traditional extraction methods and uses a lot of energy. It also produces a lot of pollution and Canada has much stricter pollution standards than the United States and the Koch Brothers influence in Canadian politics is nil. 

 

President Obama was correct when he stopped further construction of the Keystone pipeline. It would do nothing as far as improving the United States energy independence and only create less than 50 permanent jobs. He could see through the fog and smoke of the Koch Brothers propaganda. 

 

But the Koch Brothers own the Republican party. so with the election of Donald Trump as President, the Keystone pipeline is moving forward. But I will hazard a prediction that it will be a money loser as well as an environmental disaster. In the end it will become a white elephant and perhaps cost the Koch Brothers a lot of money for very little. 

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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Message 9 of 12

In an earlier post, I mentioned about the effects of strip mining of coal in eastern Ohio. But fortunately with tough laws, strip mined land can be restored and used for other purposes once the coal has been removed. 

 

However mountaintop removal is strip mining on steroids. In this process the entire top of a mountain is removed down to the level of the coal seam. Not only does this process permanently destroy the land, but no amount of reclaimation can replace what was removed. It will forever remain as a scar on the land. 

 

But as Ms. Harrop eloquently stated in her columns, the world is moving past coal as a source of energy. This is happening despite efforts by Donald Trump to roll back environmental laws and regulations in a feeble attempt to restore coal mining jobs in Appalachia. Already there are five times more people employed in renewable energy than are employed in the coal industry. That figure is growing every year as coal employment continues to decline. 

 

The final number in the musical Hairspray is a lively song and dance number titled You Can't Stop the Beat. It comes after the Corny Collins Show, a teen dance television program in Baltimore like American Bandstand, becomes racially integrated in 1962. The song goes to the efforts by some to stop the march or progress, in this case racial integration. Fast forward 55 years and the march of progress goes on; or to paraphrase Sonny and Cher, the Beat Goes On. 

 

Thus it is regarding energy. The United States made tremendous progress toward the long awaited goal of energy independence during the Obama administration. Energy independence has been a goal for every President since Richard Nixon and under Barack Obama, it has almost been achieved. New advances in technology have made generating energy from the wind and sun much more affordable and efficient than we dreamed back in the 1970s. 

 

As I had mentioned in another earlier posting, perhaps the future in places like West Virginia does not lie in coal mining, but in tourism. The mountains and rivers of West Virginia are very scenic and offer a great respite for urban dwellers in the mid Atlantic and Great Lakes states that are only a day's drive away. But allowing increased pollution of streams and rivers as well as the process of mountaintop removal only destroys what could be the salvation of West Virginia's economy; clean flowing rivers and beautiful mountains. 

 

The American people as well as foreign visitors want to see what the United States looked like before it was urbanized. Many people would like to see the what the Appalachian Mountains looked like to Daniel Boone and the early settlers. Fortunately in many places that is possible. The construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as the establishment of Shennandoah and the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks has allowed visitors to see the beauty of the southern Appalachians. The tourist economy has boosted cities like Asheville North Carolina as well as brought in many retirees seeking a good four season climate away from the stresses of the big cities and congestion of Florida. 

 

Donald Trump's actions shows his complete disdain for the environment. He only sees things as how they could be exploited by the corporations and Big Business. He fails to see the Big Picture. Throughout his life Donald Trump only cares about the environment where he is concerned and little else. 

 

This was very clearly evident in the documentaty movie You've Been Trumped that showed how Donald Trump bribed and bullied local officials in a remote part of Scotland so he could build a luxury golf resort in an environmentally protected area. The area has been settled for centuries and is the locaiton of a protected sea shore and sand dunes. But Donald Trump wanted that land for his luxury golf resort. In the process, he destoyed fragile sand dunes that protected the land from storms in winter off the Atlantic Ocean. He build embankments that blocked views of the sea from local residents and his construction also disrupted the water table, rendering many wells dry for local residents. 

 

But money talks and everything else walks in Trumplandia. Local officials, bribed by Trump money and the promise of 6000 new jobs in a depressed part of Scotland won over local officials. But those new jobs never materialized and the local residents eventually voted out their elected officials that allwed Trump to build his luxury golf resort. 

 

Eventually his luxury golf resort got built. But is has been losing money since its opening. The 2017 British Open was scheduled to be held there. But the British Golf Association, after the Scottish Parliament voted to declare Donald Trump personna non grata (unwelcome) in Scotland, decided last year to move the 2017 British Open to another golf course. 

 

Now Donald Trump is fighting the Scottish government over the construction of a wind farm off shore and near his luxury golf resort. He is claiming that those wind turbines are destroying the views from his luxury golf resort. Trump has lost that battle. Now the death watch has begun on his golf resort with the loss of the British Open. 

 

As another side note; the 2017 World Golf Classic, a PGA tour event that was originally scheduled to be played at Donald Trump's golf courses in Florida back in February was moved to a golf course in Mexico City after several international golfers said that they would not play in a tournament at one of Donald Trump's golf courses. 

 

For more information about the documentary You've Been Trumped, check it out at this link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Youve-Been-Trumped-Anthony-Baxter/dp/B00BHQLWIK

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Re: There is little dignity left in coal

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Message 10 of 12

That was a great post on coal, what it's done to our environment, and why the coal industry is fading into oblivion. Unfortunately, Trump received massive voting support in coal mining country because they believed his lies. 

 

Will they learn their lesson after 4 years with Trump ends with less coal mining jobs and more river pollution than when he took office?

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