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There’s Little Dignity Left In Coal

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There’s Little Dignity Left In Coal

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Environmental, EPA, Environment

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

It was a pathetic scene, coal miners flanking President Donald Trump as he signed an order to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Trump’s imagineers have turned coal miners into a Madison Avenue version of the besieged American working man, the pretty wrapping on a toxic package of environmental delinquency.

This event, held tragically at the Environmental Protection Agency, was almost as celebratory as the one in which Trump called for ditching a rule that would have stopped coal companies from dumping waste in streams. Some waters in coal country are so polluted they run orange.

One forgets that there are only about 80,000 coal mining jobs left in America, and nearly 40 percent of them don’t involve the dangerous work of going underground. The solar power industry employs twice as many people.

Anyhow, Trump insists that his rollback of Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan will do two things — make the U.S. energy-independent and “put our miners back to work” — to which informed observers respond, “Has already happened” and “Won’t happen.”

Thanks to shale oil and natural gas production, U.S. imports of oil have shrunk from 65 percent in 2005 to around 25 percent today. Add in the rapid growth in wind and solar power and America has already approached energy independence, and that occurred under Obama.

As for mining jobs, they’re not coming back, certainly not in numbers that would remotely merit what America and its mining regions give up in pursuit of coal. The demand for coal has plummeted as cleaner, cheaper natural gas replaces it.

Weakened regulations may cause some utilities to delay switching out of coal. Certainly, none is going back. Even companies that did not support the Clean Power Plan are staying the course.

One was Entergy, a large supplier of power in the South. CEO Leo Denault told the media that thought he objected to the Obama agenda, “The potential of it rolling back does not change our commitment to being environmentally responsible.”

Many states have their own mandates for increasing use of renewable energy. They’re not backing down, either.

Automation, meanwhile, continues as a major threat to coal jobs. Even mountaintop removal — the environmental obscenity of shearing off mountains to get at coal — provides little employment. Explosives do the blasting. Earth-moving machines remove the coal and debris.

Mountaintop removal has leveled majestic landscapes in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. One can clean up a polluted river, but these mountains are gone forever.

Tossing environmental protections into a giant dumpster is both a lazy and a counterproductive way to spur economic development. Note that some of our fiercest competitors in manufacturing, such as Germany, have environmental laws that match or exceed ours.

Earlier in American history, coal powered the nation. To provide this energy, coal country gave and gave. There was a nobility to the grueling work of digging for coal — and to the people who performed it.

But America has moved on. Coal mining employment has plummeted, and the decline in demand for coal is irreversible. Even industry leaders concede that. Thus, the tiny Trump base of coal workers finds itself in the undignified position of trying to push a product on a nation that no longer wants it.

At the same time, the Trump administration pursues plans to strip them of coverage for black lung disease. And his budget would defund a program to spur economic development in Appalachia — a program that could open opportunities for 21st-century employment

Despite all this, Trump remains coal country’s guy. Let others explain. Most of America looks on the sad scene, scratching its head and wondering what’s in it for the miners.

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Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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67 Comments

  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 31, 2017

    Coal clearly is an anachronism and a dead-end—just like oil— that saw its best days as of last century. Workers in the coal industry had better learn to adapt and adjust—what honor is there in clinging to an industry in its death throes, and what excuse do Americans who rely on outmoded jobs have for not taking advantage of the quantity and variety of schools in America for learning new skills that surpass every other nation in the world?

    Is it mental lethargy and just plain laziness preventing oil riggers, coal miners, and others in jobs that no longer have the usefulness they once had from taking advantage of educational opportunities here, which billions of other people in the world can only dream and fantasize about??

    A ‘conservative’ attitude dampens enthusiasm about life, impedes progress of the individual and of society, the handicaps the ability to change and to adapt—probably why Conservatism is so appealing to stilted politicians and many in fossil fuel industries who either don’t want to adapt and chance. Dinosaurs and species like the dodo bird are extinct because they weren’t able to adapt to changing requirements in their environment. Being stuck in a rut of only knowing how to do one job is setting one’s self up for an “extinction”, unless the yoke of “conservatism” is removed. Then, the spark of a desire to change and progress(a “progressive” concept) will take over and new doors will open. Many in the GOP and others with stultified minds and attitudes will go the way of the dodo and dinosaurs, but humans have the potential to accept change and make adaptations , and political conservatism and a refusal to change only blocks that potential, and blinds its worshipers to the necessity for moving forward.

    Reply
    1. ray March 31, 2017

      Aaron it is sad that so many of my generation from the 60’s and the 70’s have turned in to those fuddy-duddy’s.

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

        Ray, The problem with Boomers is they are NOT being allowed to get old. We are still the ones who are babysitting grandkids, shouldering the load for their kids college educations, taking care of our elderly parents all while working full time jobs because our employers stiffed us and created a generation more dependent on SS and Medicare than ever before. Cut employee benefits and that means fixed incomes and terror of the first senior illness.

        Reply
      2. dpaano April 7, 2017

        No, they were just fooled by experts! Just finished reading a book by David Brock called “Killing the Messenger.” It explains how the GOP and the Koch Brothers and the Mercers have taken over the nation and are trying to turn it back into a backward nation! The GOP has gotten VERY adept at dealing with campaigns and maligning the opposition. The big problem is that many people don’t realize the lies that they are told, and if you repeat a lie often enough, or if you hear it enough on right-wing media, you tend to eventually believe it! David Brock started a media group called Media Matters for America. If you “google” it, you’ll see what they are up to. They have many people listening to rightwing radio and TV, monitoring what is said and fact checking it. They then try to get the truth out to everyone. The problem is that not everyone see or hears the truth, so what do they have left to believe….FAUX News and Breitbart, etc. and other RW media groups.

        Reply
    2. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

      umm…I agree with you, except for, It is not easy to reeducate a coal miner…for many reasons…I am a retired and beat up coal miner…I am reeling from the hate, and contempt from “compassionate democrats”…I am/have been a Straight ticket Democrat…for all of my life…but before I retired, I had to survive many downturns in the coal market, so I, on my own, without government help, I studied and tried to retrain myself…I got lucky and found a small construction company, who needed my coal mining expertise…because we were building coal mines…my point is…ACCESS to retraining only goes so far…ACCESS to jobs without tearing up families by having to leave an area, you grew up in, or have family ties going back a lot of years…Ask yourself, “Just how much you, yourself, would sacrifice, before condemning those who you are asking the same question”….

      Reply
      1. Independent1 April 1, 2017

        Have you ever asked yourself why you may have felt contempt from “compassionate democrats’? It couldn’t be because despite your need for a job, pollution from the use of coal in power plants and for other uses is estimated to kill 30,000 Americans a year. Why is it coal miners think their right to a job, a job which was killing even some of them from black lung disease, have a right to perpetuate a job and industry that is killing other people?

        I’m not sure what state you were doing the mining in, but my guess is it’s one that’s historically been run by Republicans who just by the nature of how they govern forces people in their states to live below the poverty level because they do very little with respect to promoting innovation and advancement of technology; even today for example the GOP has been fighting Obama’s agenda of renewable energy exploration which would open up new jobs with the potential for people to learn how to work with new technologies. For Republicans, it’s all about keeping people working as they were 100 years ago at the turn of the 20th century.

        As much right as you and others in the coal mining areas of WV, PA and other states, people in other areas have just as much a right or more so, not to have their health damaged by the byproducts of coal to the point of them dying. And yet, despite knowing that coal had been killing people for decades, people still wanted to keep on mining it – and you wonder why you felt some contempt from people who knew and were concerned about the danger coal poses not only to people’s health, but to the long term viability of even our planet (coal burning results in the highest carbon release that has the greatest effect on global warming, and in acidifying America’s lakes and even our oceans to the point of killing off some fish species.

        Reply
        1. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

          I am not arguing the the results of coal mining and the burning of fossil fuel…I agree with you on all of that…Coal miners know they don’t have a “right” to a coal mining job…I was just saying that no one jumped on the Auto workers for losing jobs…folks were compassionate about it…PBO bailed them out…The steel jobs, the manufacturing jobs, Iron ore mining, Uranium mining all have direct impacts on the environment…Yet, I find no one demonizing those workers…I am saying there is a double standard when it comes to folks who have lost, not only jobs, but a WAY OF LIFE…I have loved and hated my coal mine jobs…I do not back off when I am explaining to my friends that they screwed me by voting for trump…they now know they made a mistake…I am talking about the Western Coal Fields, Colorado to be specific…

          Reply
          1. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

            All coal miners have free will. Exercise yours toward a more productive form of employment. You are using a computer. There is no excuse why you cannot take a new course of study online.

            There are NO steel jobs in manufacturing in the US. US Steel, LTV Steel and Raritan River Steel are gone. Dead.

            The reality is you are asking us to pay the ultimate price so you can have a job for a lifetime that no longer exists and hasn’t for the better part of two decades. Why should the rest of us suffer from being down wind of Midwestern coal fired furnaces that cost our states 20 times more than these coal burning states just to keep pollution to a healthy level?

            Just like oil is a relic of the past, so is coal and very soon so will be fracking. Clean Energy is not going away. Either march in the parade, or remain on the sidelines as an observer.

            No one up north is going to remove solar panels off rooftops of business and municipal buildings or homes just so a bunch of lazy people can have relic jobs.

            Reply
          2. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            I give up….no compassion here…

            Reply
          3. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

            I have compassion only when people are willing to do for themselves. It surprises me that the very culture that purports to be so self-reliant has become more dependent on the rest of us to help them keep jobs that make us too sick to do ours.

            Reply
          4. Ronald Hester April 1, 2017

            I have compassion for you, who seems to get it, I don’t have any for the miners and families, and communities, that voted for our lying dumpty pres. The Dems, held out a helping hand to them. We offered, reeducation, continued health care, revitalizing there communities, in finding new ways of bringing in money, and improving there local economies. I think many of us are just pissed, your people as a whole, jumped off a safe dock, on to a sinking ship, without using even commen sense ! Why did they believe a proven lier, would ever bale them out? If you make a bad choice, out of reclousness, I can feel bad for you, but it’s up to you , to stand up, recognize where you went wrong, change course, as needed, move forward ! Only then will we find renude respect and compassion for you. B

            Reply
          5. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            I will just say this…these folks, for whatever reason, believed a FALSE HOPE, not all fell for it, and I will admit that far too many did fall for it…I put that on the media, as well…false stories, good enough to fool the beltway pundits, and journalists, etc…helped spread that false hope…I caucused for Bernie, and I worked for Hillary…I don’t know why the false hope took hold in this group, but around here, there were more Hillary haters than trump lovers…I was only thinking about feeling bad for human beings, pity, as it were, for those who were so stupendously duped…and now they are starting to really see that they were duped…Hillary haters are a nasty bunch tho….

            when I hear about another blue collar job lost, shipped overseas, I don’t blame those folks who lost those jobs, no matter their politics…It would be better if they voted democratic, but still, some one here, mentioned FREE CHOICE…hardened hearts, is what the gop does….

            Reply
          6. dpaano April 7, 2017

            You’re definitely correct on that one….the GOP has NO compassion for this nation or for the people in it!! And, as I said earlier, I just hope that these disillusioned people now see the light and vote in the midterms to get RID of the Republicans in their state and in our government and realize that Democrats have done more for this country and its people than any GOP! Give US a chance to show what WE can do and hope that, in the meantime, the GOP and Trump and his billionaire cronies won’t take us into another senseless war or ruin this country totally!

            Reply
          7. dpaano April 7, 2017

            Ronald, you have to understand….the GOP motivates their voters and their base with lies and scare tactics. Trump lied about many things and he did it so often that people started believing him. The GOP, especially, was there to bolster everything he said. They also did so much to malign Hillary that people actually believed all the conspiracy BS that they put out about her. She would have been a much better caretaker of our nation and its people, but with all the stuff the GOP was spewing…..it was probably hard to make any kind of a valid decision. You have hopes and dreams and if you think someone is going to come in and fulfill them, you sometimes don’t make a valid decision. It is what it is…..we just have to make sure that these same people realize this in the midterms in 2018 and vote OUT the Republicans that are against doing anything for their states or this nation!

            Reply
          8. dpaano April 7, 2017

            Eleanore, I seriously don’t think that this is what Buford meant at all. PLease read the response from Independent1, and you might understand what Buford was trying to say.

            Reply
          9. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            The problem may be that little or nothing I’ve seen has made much out of the environmental damage caused by the production of steel, Iron, Uranium and the others you mentioned. And there’s a big difference here too: although there may be negatives to creating steel and iron and producing cars, there’s an enormous upside that would require a total revamping of how people get to jobs and just live their lives without cars, trucks and such that depend on those jobs . While there are nothing but negatives associated with mining coal; and there’s nothing anyone can point to about mining coal that justifies the lives it’s been costing to mining it.

            I’m not suggesting that’s right, that people seem to ignore the damage those things you mentioned are doing to our environment, but I think that’s what most people do with their understanding of the environmental damage of using cars and trucks and buses and cruise ships and on and on; they push aside in their minds the environmental damage because of what they consider to be the need for these things in today’s world.

            But even here, I agree with your feelings as I don’t think enough people are recognizing the environmental damage being created by these things and are demanding that their politicians do more to create legislation that say: requires more electric cars be created, that requires the auto industry to increase its fleetwide miles per gallon average; that requires companies that produce steel and iron to do it in a more environmentally friendly way and on and on.

            And not to beat a dead horse, it’s unfortunate for all of us that Republicans resist implementing any of those things I mentioned that would in any way require industries to do more to reduce their carbon and other pollution related emissions. And why? because they put the almighty dollar above even the lives of those who voted them into office.

            Reply
          10. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            yes, thank you…you get “It”…

            Reply
          11. dpaano April 7, 2017

            I think, Buford, that the problem is that 45’s bill that he just signed centered on the coal industry. I’m sure if it had centered on the auto industry or another industry, the same thing would have happened. When President Obama was bailing out the auto companies when he first took office, people were not all that happy to begin with either. I’m not sure we actually felt “contempt” for the auto workers, and I really don’t think that most of us feel actual “contempt” for the coal miners. I think the question is whether or not these people are willing to learn a new skill to find other jobs, up to and even if it means moving to another state. So many of them are not willing to do this, it seems, and that sometimes brings on “contempt” for them. Unfortunately, many of us don’t walk in their shoes, so it’s sometimes easier for us to project “contempt” because we just don’t understand.
            The biggest problem is that this president is doing away with regulations that were put into play by the last administration to try to help this planet….whether it’s coal mining, oil drilling, etc., there HAS to be regulations to protect not only the workers but also those who live around these facilities.
            I’m kinda glad to hear that some of the rust belt followers of 45 have begun to see the light. Unfortunately, many of them still don’t seem to understand that they were lied to and conned! Promises were made that will never be fulfilled, and that’s the sad part!

            Reply
        2. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

          Independent…Ironic isn’t it? We the Dems states keep Republican states flush with our state tax dollars and they expect us to do that by working in a heavily carcinogenic polluted atmosphere?

          So, we can work our butts off while these Republican whiners sit back and pollute the air, water and soil and make us too sick to work to hand them our tax dollars…rofl.

          Reply
      2. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

        Buford…It most certainly is easy to re-educate a coal miner. The problem is not the coal miner but the business owner desperate to keep the status quo to make these miners believe they have NOTHING else of value to offer to any job.

        I know this because I worked with an environmental engineer who WAS a mining engineer in West Virginia. He had a wife and 5 children to support. He worked side by side in those mines.

        But, he saw the dreadful coal dust was killing miners and making them suffer horrible lung ailments before they were 50 years old.

        So what did he do? He developed a portable industrial dust collector that could reduce coal dust inside the mines. That was nearly 50 years ago.

        He soon realized he was focusing on environmental and workplace health issues and on his kitchen table, started an small two man environmenal engineering company that was in business for almost 40 years.

        Every coal miner has skills and knows instinctively what a dangerous workplace is like. Yet, too few of them bother to even consider the switch to solar or wind power even with all their knowledge of the environment.

        There is no longer any excuse for any individual not to take advantage of training. There are numerous solar, geothermal and wind power training course online.

        You just need the WILL to start.

        As to sacrifice, how much do YOU think we should sacrifice of our health and our children’s health because are too lazy to even consider looking outside of coal and all of its dangers?

        Reply
        1. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

          you still don’t get it….

          Reply
          1. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

            Yes. I get it. You don’t get it. You are not going to jeopardize MY health or my children’s so you can keep a relic job that has no place in today’s world. You know how to use a computer. You can find tons of jobs online you can do from home.

            Don’t you dare tell me that’s not possible. I know for a fact it is because that’s how I began to write SEO copy.

            Stop the whining and move your brain.

            Reply
          2. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            hey…now…I am not saying to restore coal mining…I never said anything about that…how many coal miners do you know? I thought so…

            Reply
          3. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

            Well, there’s my dead neighbor Tommy from West Virginia who died at age 58 from coal mining related lung disease. Then, there is the mining engineer I posted above who turned his mining experience into a patented portable industrial dust collector and started his own environmental business on his kitchen table.

            Please..stop making excuses. If you don’t have a job, it’s because you don’t even bother to look. I know that one. I have southern relatives who stick their head out their front door, look right and left and then say, “See there are NO Jobs for me.” Wahhhhhh

            Reply
          4. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            Yeah, I buried too many of my friends…I am not making excuses about anything…I was saying THERE IS A REAL LACK OF COMPASSION FOR COAL MINERS…
            I apologize for seeking any kind of intellectual understanding of a difficult issue, in this thread…Open your mind…open your heart….we are not the enemy…

            Reply
          5. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

            You use the wrong word, “Compassion.” The word you are looking for is “sympathy.” Sometimes people sit on a pity pot so long, they get callouses on their fannies.

            There is an old saying my Mother always taught me: “God only helps those who help themselves.”

            What have you done to help yourself? Before you ask for sympathy, help yourself to new ideas and get out of that Great Depression rut.

            Reply
          6. Buford2k11 April 1, 2017

            no…I have the correct word…You still don’t get it…I really am sorry for bothering you in your little closed minded and cold bubble…

            Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth March 31, 2017

    The thought of drinking orange-tinged water must be pretty appealing to the average anti-EPA philistine. Bottoms up for Pruitt, but I’ll pass.

    Reply
  3. Independent1 April 1, 2017

    Sadly, as is the case with so many advances going on in the world in the 21st century, the GOP continues to work at keeping America from even keeping up with other countries in the development of renewable energy sources. Here in Maine for example, America’s worst governor Paul Lepage, along with the GOP contingent in the state senate, have been working to make it economically impractical for Maine citizens to install solar panels; I don’t fully understand all the ins and outs but they’ve set up penalties for people who disconnect from the grid.

    While the majority of industrialized nations around the world have been working the past decade plus to move themselves away from fossil fuels, Republicans have been holding America back into relying on 20th century technologies. Even China, which 20 or so years ago, about the time of the GOP’s take over of Congress in 1995, had a infrastructure akin to America in the early 1900s, has seriously undertaken moving away from fossil fuels (especially coal) and into using renewable energies in a big way. With Republicans holding America back as much as they can, renewable energy use for power in America is only approaching about 10%; while many countries in the European Union have already achieved or exceeded the use of 50% renewable energies for the power needs.

    And it’s not just renewable energy that the GOP has holding America back from – it’s also mass transit, internet access, the modernizing of air and sea ports, universal healthcare and even the repair and upgrading of America’s entire transportation infrastructure – highways, bridges and the like.

    While 20 years ago China’s infrastructure was like America’s in the early 1900s, today China has high-speed rail trains that travel over 300 mph; while I don’t believe Amtrack has actually fully implemented a line where trains can exceed 200 mph. And that makes a big difference. With 300 plus mph trains, short haul routes like between New York City and Chicago become much more efficient by rail than they do by plane.

    China has trains that would take passengers from NYC to Chicago in 2.5-3 hours express; which is a stretch to do by air when you consider the time to travel to an airport, going though security, waiting for boarding, sitting on the tarmac, getting to O’Hare and finding ones luggage and then getting into downtown Chicago.

    History is not going to look back kindly on the past 20 plus years of the GOP’s total mis-governance of America in so many crucial ways.

    See this on China:

    China Renewable Energy Growth Soars & Coal Use Declines
    China’s solar and wind energy capacity increased by 74% and 34%, respectively, in 2015, while coal consumption dropped by 3.7%.

    China’s National Bureau of Statistics released figures for 2015 this week, and officials believe that the country’s current growth path will allow them to soon surpass their carbon emissions targets. Specifically, China broke two new records in 2015, installing a record 32.5 GW of wind in 2015, and a record 18.3 GW of solar in 2015 — both of which werehigher than initial estimates.

    “The latest figures confirm China’s record-breaking shift toward renewable power and away from coal,” said Tim Buckley,Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “Solar and wind continue to be
    the big winners, as illustrated by a 73.7% increase in grid-connected solar generation capacity. Declining consumption coupled with an over-abundance of domestic supply, meaning coal imports into China were particularly badly hit, dropping 30.4% yoy.”

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/03/06/china-renewable-growth-soars-fossil-fuel-use-declines/

    Reply
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      Reply
    2. Oddworld April 1, 2017

      How ironic that you mentioned China. I was just thinking about them earlier today, it occurred to me that the Chinese leaders are hell bent for leather on dragging their people into the 21st century and beyond. I say good for them, it wasn’t so long ago when our own leaders had that same goal. Sadly it is my own generation who is largely responsible for getting Trump and those most like him elected.

      Reply
    3. dpaano April 7, 2017

      We could learn a lot from China if 45 would just listen to the Chinese president while he’s here this week!

      Reply
  4. yabbed April 1, 2017

    Trump is just using those ignorant fools. Coal is over.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 April 1, 2017

      Trump, Pence and the rest of those idiots in the W.H. know that there’s no true benefit to any of the EOs that Trump’s signed since he took office. It’s all about Trump’s con job in his trying to win back supporters that are dropping him like flies.

      Reply
      1. dpaano April 7, 2017

        According to the news today, both Bannon and Priebus are on their way out! Neither of them get along with 45’s son-in-law, Jared (who, BTW was or is a Democrat). I feel a LITTLE better knowing that maybe Jared can temper 45’s actions somewhat! Bannon and Miller used to just throw bills under 45’s nose for signing without him even knowing what he was signing…..that’s how Bannon got to be in the NSA (which he is NOW no longer allowed). We can only hope that Kushner will be able to whisper “sweet nothings” in 45’s ear and have him actually listen and not jump to conclusions and do stupid things at the drop of a hat because his alt. right buddies tell him to!

        Reply
  5. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

    Saving the Industry . . .hmmm ? ? Maybe the thinking isn’t Saving, but Converting the Coal Industry. Seems I recall an industry or two over the past 50 years where the previous methods of doing things quite radically changed. I believe we made attempts to provide education and assistance to business owners and people in those businesses. I realize it’s very difficult for some to grasp the idea of a new way of making a living or accepting a new way; even multi-(b)millionaire business owners. Some of us chose not to learn the new methods and took on new means to earn a living (I know I had to make a change). I guess you could say, it’s the evolution of society and some of what Trump is doing . . . we’ll, it’s a last ditch effort to prevent certain death. In mid 20th century there were close to a Million people in the Industry, today there are less than 100,000 . . . including Office workers. Granted, it’s more automated, but it also is more antiquated as a means or necessity. So people like Warren Buffet & Robert Murray just need to curl up with a beverage of choice and go swim in their pile of cash; embrace the new technology, invest in the future, not the past. Maybe they should just invest in the families that made them (B)Millions and pay for their re-education? Talk about Philanthropy . . ..

    Reply
    1. Independent1 April 1, 2017

      Let us know when you wake up from your fantasy land.

      Reply
      1. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

        When imagination and possibility thinking die, so too does society . . .

        Reply
        1. Independent1 April 1, 2017

          Sorry, but none of that is in anyway related to anything that Donald Trump does; Trump’s only motivation is: is there money in it FOR ME!!!

          Reply
          1. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            What are you talking about ? ? ? ?

            Reply
          2. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            “Saving the Industry . . .hmmm ? ? Maybe the thinking isn’t Saving, but Converting the Coal Industry.”

            Unless I totally misunderstood, your above post suggests that Donald Trump’s motivation for undoing Obama’s restrictions on coal mining may not be in saving the coal industry but rather in converting it to something maybe better.

            And I’m saying, Trump had no such intentions in his mind; because there’s not guarantee converting the coal industry as you suggest would necessarily put money in Trump’s pocket.

            So it’s clear that Trump’s only motivation was to pander to his dwindling flock of supporters by suggesting to those clueless people that somehow or another they’re going to get jobs back in coal mining which ain’t going to happen. So your implied motivation for Trump’s action is a total fantasy.

            Reply
          3. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Yep, you totally misunderstood everything . . .

            Reply
          4. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            Maybe what threw me was “maybe the thinking isn’t”. Because from my experience, Republicans don’t think ahead about anything – the only thing that pops up in their minds when they craft legislation is: what can we enact that will put the most dollars into our pockets and those of the people who fund our illicit election campaigns.

            Republicans care nothing about the environmental damage or the life threatening pollution or the misery put into the lives of even their supporters that will result from their greedy actions.

            That’s been clear even just recently when they insisted on going forward with a total farce of a healthcare replace option when they had been told doing so would throw millions off of healthcare and result in thousands of people dying – they still insisted on going forward with what can only be defined as PREMATURE MURDER by insisting on enacting a farce that would end up with thousands of Americans dying!!!!!!

            Reply
          5. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Sad that you are so close minded . . . and also so fooled to think they are so different from their counterparts . . . but it is April Fool’s day . . .

            Reply
          6. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            Really? Republicans are not very different from Democrats? What planet do you live on.

            Back in the 1930’s it was the greedy GOP that drove America into the Great Depression and the GOP that fought a Democrat for years in his efforts to bring America back from the depression the created.

            And the same thing happend in 2008/9 when a greedy Republican Administration drove America into the Great Recession and then the GOP fought another Democrat for years in his efforts to bring America back from that Debacle.

            And it was a Democrat who fought to enact the single most beneficial piece of legislation for the vast majority of Americans that’s ever been enacted, called Social Security and it’s the GOP that has tried for decades to destroy it.

            And the same goes for a Democrat who fought to enact the second most beneficial piece of legislation depended on by a large segment of Americans called Medicare – and again it has been the GOP who has fought for decades to destroy that.

            And it was a Democrat who fought hard in the 1960’s for what is arguably the 3rd most beneficial piece of legislation ever enacted for a significant sector of the American public called the Civil Rights Act and it’s the GOP once again that has worked to undermine that.

            And I could go on and on pointing out pieces of legislation that Democrats have enacted which have worked to better the lives of the majority of Americans, while you will hard pressed to identify one piece of legislation enacted by the GOP that has not been enacted in some way to benefit the already wealthy or America’s corporations aside from Nixon creating the EPA.

            Come on, name me one piece of legislation really meaningful to the majority of Americans that was enacted by the GOP that was not the result of lobbying by the wealthy or corporations!!!

            Reply
          7. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            And if Democrats are not much different than Republicans, why is it that since 1900 GOP presidents have mustered a paltry 2.6% GDP annual growth average while Democrats a much better 4.3%?.

            And why have Republican presidents managed to allow our country to fall into 14 recessions and 3 depressions while only 3 recessions have occurred under Democrats? It’s only 3 Democrats that have finished their terms in office without allowing a recession to start: LBJ, Clinton and Obama.

            And why have Democrat presidents on average created twice as many jobs/year over those 100 plus years than Republicans?

            And why has the stock market actually seen losses (negative gains) since 1930 under 42 years of Republican presidents while well over 300% gains under 44 years of Democrats?

            Reply
          8. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            And everything you mentioned is all due to the President, right? Congress has nothing to do with any of it . . . who was the party in charge of Congress . . .

            Reply
          9. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            What? Are you an 18-25 year old? If you’re older than 30, you should be well aware that before New Gingrich highjacked Congress back in 1995 and turned Republicans into nothing more than Italian Mafia types who have turned stealing into a political job; you’d know that before that time, that Congressional legislators recognized that Presidents were elected by the people to run the country AND NOT THE CONGRESS!!

            Aside from idiot Republicans, the vast majority of Americans have always expected that for presidents to be able to keep the promises they made while campaigning that they should get to set the direction the country is going to go in unless there was something damaging to the country or illegal in what they were doing.

            So the vast majority of Americans expected that Congress’ role was to be a traffic cop for the president NOT A DICTATOR OF WHAT COUNTRY’S AGENDA OR THE DIRECTION IT WAS GOING TO HEAD IN.

            SO YES!!! Before Gingrich, presidents did in fact set the agenda and direction for the country. And that is why presidential historians have ranked presidents as good bad or otherwise – which is really not fair to them to do with Clinton and Obama, because neither of them actually got to set the direction of America do to the Mafia types in Congress usurping their power and obstructing virtually everything each of them wanted ot accomplish.

            And with Obama that’s made very clear in the fact that Emperor Mitch McConnell has used his fake filibuster more than 430 times to virtually prevent the Democrats from accomplishing anything they had intended to accomplish for our country.

            BUT THAT OBSTRUCTION OF PRESIDENTS HAS ONLY TAKEN PLACE SINCE PART WAY THROUGH CLINTON’S PRESIDENCY.!!

            HOW CLUELESS CAN YOU GET!! ARE YOU GOING TO GROW UP SOME DAY JUVENILE DELIQU9ENT????

            Reply
          10. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Acting just like a typical child, calling people names; no wonder I usually give up responding to you . . .

            Reply
          11. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            You got it!! I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with you 2-year old minded idiots who are determined to deny facts after facts after facts that GOP governance is a disaster waiting to happen.

            2 year olds who can only come up with deflection after deflection after deflection when statistics from a 100 years worth of actual experience shows that NOT ONE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT – NOT ONE!! Has in fact done anything beneficial for anyone in America aside from the already wealthy.

            How many times does a Republican have to destroy the economy and trash the savings and lives of millions of investors before people like you wake up???

            How many times does Congress have to commit premeditated murder by deliberately passing legislation they know is going to end up causing thousands of Amricans to die from starvation, from losing their homes, from some terminal illness because they have no healthcare, before you wake up?

            I’m acting like a child because I’m dealing with one!! It’s only 2-year old who refuses to believe facts and reality!!!!!!!!

            AND CONSTANTLY MAKES UP SOME EXCUSE!! CONSTANTLY!! EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE!!!!

            Reply
          12. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            Do you have your head up your rear or are you watching any news at all. We have another Republican in the White House and within less than 2 months he’s already destroyed years of progress in so many things!!

            In less than 2 months he’s moved America back in some areas 2 or more decades!! What are you idiots thinking???

            What kind of people are you?? Or are you really people or just robots??

            Reply
          13. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Wow, you are really full of yourself aren’t you, sad child . . . .

            Reply
          14. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            As I suspected. Not one ounce of being human – you’re nothing but the typical conservative robot!!!!

            Thanks for confirming!!!!

            Reply
          15. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            You are incorrect on all counts, but no one is perfect.

            Reply
          16. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            In whose mind? yours? Not based on your right-wing biased comments.

            And I think from my rant, you can see how fed up I am with Republicans!!!

            Reply
          17. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            You may appreciate from something just now in the news why I’m very disturbed about the GOP and what’s going on in just weeks after another Republican takes office:

            From CNN news:

            Sen. John McCain says he’s “more worried about this country than I’ve been in my entire lifetime.”

            “We are seeing strains on the world order,” the former presidential candidate said in an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod.

            McCain was shocked earlier this year at candidate Donald Trump’s assertion that the US lacked the moral standing to question Russia’s human rights abuses.

            “To state that there’s some moral equivalency between an
            imperfect nation — that’s the United States of America — and Vladimir Putin is appalling,” McCain said.
            ———————————————————

            And I couldn’t agree more with McCain.

            Reply
          18. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Well, I did’t vote for McCain . . . as for World Order, there isn’t any, hasn’t been. And there is not supposed to be one world order.

            Reply
          19. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            And more evidence you’re living in your own fantasy land.

            Reply
          20. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            It appears you believe the world revolves around your thinking; I’ve known many people as such. I meet more of them all the time; living in a very wealthy liberal part of the country.

            Reply
          21. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            And I’ve encountered lots of people like you who live their whole lives in denial. Like I’ve told Mike – it’s your funeral.

            Reply
          22. 2ThinkN_Do2 April 1, 2017

            Don’t know who Mike is, but we all have funerals or at least we all move on some day. Some of us enjoy the journey, others are miserable; glad I’m enjoying mine.

            Reply
          23. Independent1 April 2, 2017

            If you live in a red state, that funeral may come sooner than you think; people live 2-6 year shorter lives on average who live in red states.

            Reply
          24. Independent1 April 1, 2017

            Have you given even one ounce of thought with how many people are going to die because of the EOs this monster has signed that will undo environmental safe guards??

            Or the number of families that he’s torn apart because of his idiot immigration edicts??

            Or the severe hardships he’s placed on thousands of immigrants with his illegal immigration ban?

            Or the environmental and people damage that will happen because of his nonsensical Wall??????

            Reply
  6. Eleanore Whitaker April 1, 2017

    There is no longer any reason for coal or coal mining. First of all, the coal mine owners are not going to invest any money into a dead industry.

    One of the biggest problems with manufacturing in the US is not the cost of doing business or the taxes they pay or the EPA regulations. When these businesses went offshore it was for MORE profit. The very fact that 1% of the population holds 90% of the wealth, proves this.

    In a worst case scenario, if we allowed these Republican states to spew all manner of poison into the air, water and soil, how exactly are we to hang onto jobs when our health is compromised? But then, to make it even worse, they want us to pay out of pocket for illnesses THEY cause?

    Reply
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  8. Thoughtopsy April 2, 2017

    Don’t worry that Energy Independence has already happened and Coal jobs won’t be coming back… Because President Dumbf**k will just stand on the Aircraft Carrier that is his ego, and declare victory at some point… and the moronic knuckledraggers that make up his base will just believe him.

    Why?
    Because Critical thinking is Hard.
    Because Ignorance is Easy and willful ignorance is even easier than that.
    Because Facts are inconvenient and might make you feel unusual feelings… like the realization you’ve been conned by a small-dicked, narcissistic man-baby with a micro-boner for any power and adulation he can get his tiny hands on…

    The come-down is going to be something totally fierce.

    Apparently him being a self-confessed sexual predator, liar, failed businessman, and someone who cheats every worker and business he comes into contact with, has 3200 lawsuits against him, and ran a scam university all weren’t deal-breakers for you retards, jointly and severally, to vote for President F**kface Von Clownstick…

    So everything he does while in power is on You…

    And given his obvious bigotry, racism and pissing on basic principles of ethics and morality before the election, you don’t get to use ignorance as an excuse either.

    Don’t expect sympathy or understanding, you ignorant pinheads.

    Reply
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