Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama and Coal

Both Obama's and Biden's stance on coal is not new -- IMHO, they hate it.

Biden's tirade against coal when he poked his finger at a citizen in a rope line at one rally clearly revealed his distaste for coal as a source to help meet our massive energy needs. It was well publicized.

What's upsetting a great number of people is more than just the issue of coal, it's the reporting (or lack of reporting) on what Obama said on the subject back in January of this year.
Yesterday, Sarah Palin demanded to know why the San Francisco Chronicle sat on this story for so long. The Chronicle responded by noting that the video has been available on their website since January 17th of this year. However, the Chronicle never reported on these quotes from Obama, and these statements certainly seem noteworthy enough to include in any look at Obama’s policies on energy.

Even more oddly, they never provided a transcript of the interview, an almost automatic step for any meeting between national political candidates and the editors of a newspaper. Why didn’t the Chronicle transcribe their meeting in the nine months between then and now? Did they realize how damaging this could be to Obama’s hopes in the middle of the primaries and chose to quietly shelve the interview? [link]

Here is an excerpt from the interview in question:

In a later part of the interview, Obama goes on to discuss other possible repercussions from his plans to enforce far tougher legislation on coal power plants across the nation.
This still consists of Obama sending “price signals” that discourage the use of coal. He does say that getting rid of coal altogether is an illusion, but he's obviously opposed to expanding its use or even keeping it at current levels. He wants to heavily fine coal operators in order to get “billions” for R&D on alternatives, which will send the coal industry reeling and energy prices skyrocketing, as Obama himself pledges later in the same interview.

View the full video below to hear Obama state clearly how, under his plan, energy prices will "SKYROCKET" his own words:

Think about it... on the one hand, he will give 95% of working citizens a tax break -- for the 40% who don't pay taxes at all, call it what it is -- welfare. Then on the other hand, he will tax the coal power plants to the brink of bankruptcy, which will skyrocket energy prices... thereby wiping out that annual tax break in the first month your new energy bill comes in.

We all experienced the pain at the pump when oil prices rose through the roof.

Just wait 'til you see your electric bill multiply by up to 10 times or more what you are paying today. Businesses, small and large, are about to get pounded by that kind of energy policy.

Keep in mind, coal power plants feed into the grid.

It isn't just the coal states that will be heavily impacted (I'm seeing major job losses, possible/probable coal power plant shut downs, since many of them are running on shoestring budgets even now)... it will impact EVERYONE connected to the grid.

For the record, I'm against carbon capture (emission sequestration), because scientific studies have already proven how dangerous it could potentially be to our aquifers in the event of "leaks" and/or fissures... picture water turned to acid.

Here's what he has to say on that option:

How much has his "team" put into researching the energy dilemma we are facing?

To be fair, Obama and the Dems are not the only party in favor of CCS. Currently, the USA is budgeting a hefty chunk of change in that direction:
CCS is diverting funds away from renewable energy options. The US DOE’s 2009 spending on CCS is $623.5 million, a 26.4 percent increase over 2008, at the same time that it is scaling back programmes on renewable energy and efficiency by 27.1 percent to US$145.2 million. (read more here)

In my humble opinion, solutions to meet our energy needs must be safe, sustainable and preferably renewable. (And, for the record, there are several other clean coal technologies very much worth pursuing to help us keep the lights turned on.)

BUT -- I am most certainly a realist. I don't believe in wiping out one method of energy production until it can be fully replaced with another stable source of energy that is equal to and/or superior to what we have now.

It would be insane to turn off the power during these crazy economic times in which we live.

We are a nation extremely rich in coal resources.

It would be a shame and a waste, in my humble opinion, to not explore methods of being able to put it to good use in a safe, clean way to help power our nation. It can be done. I believe it. We have the technology, we have the ingenuity, and we have the determination and drive to make it happen.

But Obama, IMHO, has missed the entire point by a landslide.

If the polls are right, dig in. We're about to find ourselves in a world of hurt in the years ahead.

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