Obama to Coal States: Drop Dead!

Obama doesn’t believe we should use coal to generate power.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

I guess under an Obama administration coal miners, bitterly clinging to their God and their guns, can go on welfare.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Many of us from coal states agree that our coal addiction needs to die. In fact, many pro-coal (in the sense that it brings jobs) folks in WV have been resentful of the U.S.’s coal addiction for decades. Here again, folks like you, Donald, think you’re speaking for everyday people, but you contribute nothing when it comes to justice for the people who provide you with energy. Your backwards, dying politics is literally killing people in Appalachia. Green Appalachian energy jobs now!

  2. It’s amazing the arrogance of Senator Obama to think he will openly admit this thinking his position is secure in the polls.

    He probably realizes he isn’t going to win West Virginia, but Pennsylvania is far from a lock. If McCain wins PA, this comment could be the decisive turning point of the election.

  3. Senator Clinton destroyed (understatement) Senator Obama in West Virginia. And the polls showed Senator Obama leading.

    Senator McCain is leading in West Virginia, I predict 75% vote for McCain in WV. Unless a couple of million dead West Virginians come out in vote, it aint gonna happen.

  4. Michael, I spent a few years in the Ohio Valley, and I didn’t see much effort to move beyond the steel industry… kind of sad, actually. For a variety of reasons, it doesn’t seem that the area wants to face reality and move ahead.

  5. I’d rather incentivize industries that we want to grow and promote than “disentivize” ones that we want to leave behind… in some ways, this seems typical of the difference between liberals and conservatives… my intuition is that the latter are quicker to “disentivize” while the latter are quicker to incentivize.

  6. Michael, I spent a few years in the Ohio Valley, and I didn’t see much effort to move beyond the steel industry… kind of sad, actually. For a variety of reasons, it doesn’t seem that the area wants to face reality and move ahead.

    I suspect a good part of it has to do with steel and coal jobs remaining some of the best paying jobs for those without college degrees. At the call center I worked at for nine months or so in Wellsburg, WV landing a steel mill job was seen as something akin to winning the lottery since it payed 3x what most of those guys could make anywhere else. (And the jobs were about as scarce as winning lottery numbers two, since the mills were only a gradual slope of constant downsizing.)

    I’d be very, very surprised if Obama took WV, though. I was working there for the 2000 election, and everyone was pulling very hard for Bush over Gore — at least up in that region.

  7. Good thing Obama didn’t spout this stuff round these parts. For all his incongruities, PA Gov Fast Eddie Rendell is gung-ho coal. Talks up useful and clean ways to dig it/process it/use it. Helpful as no other area of the planet boasts it in such large quantities. Only demonstrates the Empty Suit Tendencies of Demo standard bearer. No doubt Fast Eddie will downplay pro-coal remarks in any future interview for say HHS Secretary job.

  8. On the other hand, many of us from coal states look at coal as the future of our nation’s energy. If mining is becoming too hazardous in West Virginia, by all means, quit mining coal there. It means more of a market share for Wyoming. Our coal is cleaner, anyway.

    I find it astounding that people are so irate against coal. Our technology has advanced to a point where we scrub out all the deleterious materials (down to maybe a few parts per billion), and if you’re worried about carbon dioxide, don’t. CO2 isn’t a problem, no matter what the hysteria says. CO2 makes us less than 5% of all greenhouse gases, and anthropogenic sources are only a tiny portion of that, anyway.

    Coal is necessary for electricity until or unless we make a wholesale switch to nuclear. It has to be one of the two (given our lack of producing energy from cold fusion). Why? Because in order to power a city, you have to have a stable base load. Wind, solar, and other renewable sources just can’t foot the bill. They’re too unstable, too inconsistent. You can’t simply have the city shut down when a cloud passes overhead (yes, I know, the reality is a little more complicated than that, but hyperbole has its uses).

    Moreover, unlike all the renewable sources the left touts as being the “cure” for our oil addiction, coal can actually cover that, too. Using coal-to-liquids technology, from Wyoming coal alone we can provide all the gasoline, diesel, and kerosene our nation needs for the next 250 years. We would have to fix the price at about $75 a barrel, but I’d be willing to accept that if it means $700 billion/year stays in the states and we don’t have to worry about foreign powers creating huge fluctuations in the market.

    The coal/energy issues are important for my wife and myself, mainly because my wife is a Chemical Engineer, and her focus is on coal technology. If you want to know anything about coal, e-mail me, and I’ll ask her, and relay the answer.

  9. Yes, it probably hurts Obama to have said this — such is electoral politics — but I’m all in favor of getting our electricity from a clean source like nuclear plants rather than coal (dirty and dangerous). More people die from coal mining every year than have ever died from nuclear power in the West.

  10. Ryan is right. Coal is the future for the time being. For one thing, there are still tons and tons of it in the Earth. Just the stuff we have located could last centuries even with our increased usage. We already have “clean-coal” technology that will only get better.

  11. SB,

    You are right, coal miners die from mining coal. But that is in underground mines. Again, as my husband said earlier, feel free to let those underground eastern mines fail. Wyoming will pick up the market share and my salary will go up. Ok, so I’m joking about the salary. Wyoming strip mines it’s coal. We have had one coal mining death this year. Someone backed one shovel into another and crushed the cab, as well as the driver. It made major news in this state. We don’t have the dangers underground mining faces. Also with the laws requiring 3-6 inches of topsoil in every area mined, the earth is put in a better state than what is available in Wyoming. Only in reclaimed land do we have that kind of topsoil.

    As for dirty, well, coal can be dirty if you are using an old plant. However, any new plants that would be built are required to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations. Wyoming coal, in small quantities is clean enough not to require cleaning for most regulations, and we still clean it very strictly for any new plant designs. The “dirty coal” idea is an incorrect advertisement, at least out here

    However, I will agree that nuclear is “cleaner” if no carbon capture is used and if we used nuclear for power, coal could be used in place of our petroleum products. Don’t count coal out just because it’s “dirty.”

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