The war on coal?

What is the U.S government doing to stop air pollution?

The war on coal?

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:07 pm

The war on coal? ... or the war waged by coal on us?
David Ross Stevens |
Jan. 24, 2014 9:30 PM |

The “War on Coal” as put forth by coal industry acolytes is one of those topsy-turvy terms straight out of Orwell’s mis-speak world. Politicians wishing to ingratiate themselves with the owners of the black fuel have it completely backward: Coal (the industry) has waged war on the rest of the world for about 150 years.

Let us first recognize the positive contributions of coal to the economy, from electricity-producing power plants to home heating. As recently as 20 years ago 55 percent of U.S. electrical energy came from coal. Today it provides about one-third. In 1979 in Kentucky there were 47,190 coal miners and today there are 9,000.

The shrinkage of the coal industry has nothing to do with any war and the politicians know it. For more than a half-century mechanization has replaced manual labor. Picks and axes are relics found only in museums and old toolsheds.

Underground a “continuous miner” now digs out the coal. This is a low-slung machine perhaps 20 feet long with a revolving cutting nose that claws out the coal seam. The coal pieces automatically are funneled onto the machine’s conveyor belt next to the sole operator. The coal travels on belts or railed cars that are powered all the way to a processing plant.

On the surface the strip mines are increasingly worked by larger and larger machines (drag lines and front-end shovels) producing more tonnage per man each year.

Besides the sheer loss of manpower, the consumer demand for coal is at a record low level mainly because of the onset of much cheaper and more available natural gas. Also, more energy-efficient appliances and behaviors are demanding much less energy. Market forces are killing King Coal.

Then there is the fact that the easiest-to-find coal has been found. Today the underground mines must go deeper and the surface miners must remove more and more rocks and soil (the overburden) before locating the coal. This all feeds into coal’s lesser market position.

So, the war on coal is actually a smokescreen for taking potshots at governmental regulations concerned with miners’ health, the quality of water and the state of the air.

source ... -war-coal-
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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