COAL ECONOMICS AND POLITICS: REALITY CHECK — OBAMANOMICS

 

It is Obama who will ironically do the most to preserve the way of life in West Virginia, Kentucky and other states — even though they vote overwhelmingly against him out of fear, prejudice and disinformation

The reality is that coal is going to be with us for a while and perhaps permanently. Regardless of who is President, despite all the concerns about the noxious fumes and heat emanating from mining and firing coal, it will be many years before demand for coal decreases. Technology, innovation, and alternative energy sources will play an increasing role in providing the power to run our homes, offices, hospitals and factories. But the process will take many years and perhaps many decades before the time comes that demand for coal decreases.

Thus the people of West Virginia, Kentucky and other coal producing states are not in jeopardy — but their children or grandchildren might be doing something other than mining. This is the reality.

Politics being what it is, results in pandering to the worst fears of voters and getting them to believe that the candidate speaking is the only one who will not let coal mining decline and will fight to keep them in business. It is a lie.

No candidate can stop this progression and no candidate is going to fight in favor of coal, which is perceived now as a major source of emissions and heat. It is political suicide for a candidate to say what Clinton is saying anywhere outside of West Virginia. She doesn’t care because she has no chance of elected but she wants to make a big finish.

The problem with that is once again people are being mislead and are being coerced into voting against themselves. Coal’s survival depends not on running against global warming but running with it. Someone who promises to fight for you against the environmentalists is telling you a whopper.

But someone who promises innovation and technology dividends might just be the person who can save you in spite of yourselves. And supporting that person will hasten the resurgence of coal and your economic security as well as the economic security of your country, your children and your grandchildren. 

Recapture of the heat from coal fired plants, some of which spew 650 degree or more superheated air into the atmosphere could turn any coal fired plant making steel, concrete or even electric power into augmented power.

Every coal fired plant could be a clean source of additional energy if we recapture the energy being wasted.  Every emission being discarded randomly into the environment could be captured as well and buried where it will do no harm.

Paradoxically it is the resistance of the mining lobby and mining interests, who are ill-informed about Obama and ill-advised in their direction, who could derail what would otherwise be a perfect outcome for West Virginia and Kentucky.

The abundance of coal reserves in the U.S. could thus paradoxically become one of the major green initiatives of the next administration and congress. Who would lead this?

Fortunately, whether you vote for him or not, Obama is very likely to be our next President. It is fortunate because he is the first person in politics to break the logjam, break the hold of special interest lobby groups and actually use innovation, technology and creative -in depth thinking and action to create an army of 750,000 active volunteers, 1,300,000 donors who have freed him from having to respond to any BIG DOG, and who will use the same techniques to overwhelm the opposition.

Obama is unstoppable precisely because he alone understands the significance of community organizing and he is unique in being the only one who has a successful track record in doing it, even under the most despondent circumstances. In this case, the community to organize is more daunting than the South Side of Chicago — it is now the country and eventually the world. But the dynamics of despair, fear, hopelessness versus empowerment, hope and relevance are the same. 

For him, American innovation and problem solving from the bottom up is his first priority. For every other candidate in recent years it has been through regulation and selling out to groups who already had too much power. With the support of the American people and indeed the world behind him, Obama is the one who can make this happen for coal and hundreds of other industries, large and small. 

It is therefore Obama who will ironically do the most to preserve the way of life in West Virginia, Kentucky and other states — even though they vote overwhelmingly against him out of fear, prejudice and disinformation

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