Author Topic: Coal  (Read 5898 times)

MasterStache

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Coal
« on: June 19, 2017, 10:33:21 AM »
Really enjoyed this John Oliver segment about coal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6RsUhw1Q8

Trede

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 12:09:27 PM »
There's also a good Washington Post explanation of where Pruitt got his 50,000/7,000 "coal/mining jobs" numbers.  Fair warning, after reading it the first time and trying to go back to it, WP asked me to subscribe first, but in case the link works for you all:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/06/06/pruitts-claim-that-almost-50000-jobs-have-been-gained-in-coal/

Basically, Pruitt was supposed to say "mining and coal jobs" which "justifies" his use of numbers in which the majority of those jobs are "support jobs in mining" that are mostly actually in the rebounding oil and gas industry.

scottish

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Re: Coal
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 05:16:42 PM »
Wow,  *4* Pinocchios.

What is this obsession with coal all about, anyway?     Much less than 1/10% of the US workforce works in coal.   Why is it such a big deal?  (Edit: I'll try and watch John Oliver tonight)

This is what coal does to your cities:

This is what coal does to your lungs: 




« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 05:20:52 PM by scottish »

libertarian4321

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Re: Coal
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 05:53:17 PM »
Yeah, who needs coal.

With fracking making natural gas so cheap, coal has no chance to compete.  It's being priced out of the market.

Fracking for the win!

MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 05:17:33 AM »
Shit even the coal companies are investing in renewables. 

TaraB

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Re: Coal
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 05:20:57 AM »
"They're only off by 48,300 jobs....which for this administration is pretty good!"

I love John Oliver.

Apples

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Re: Coal
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 09:10:51 AM »
The obsession with coal has to do with coal being a minor (major?  doubt it?) industry in several swing states.  And coal worker areas have been known to be part of the "swing" votes of those states.  Want PA or OH to go R or D?  Talk to and about coal, and get those votes.  People vote their values, but generally people vote to keep their jobs because they value having work to do and the benefits that come from that, especially not being on welfare.*

*I live in the foothills and am framing that in the way it's been said to me.  "staying off welfare" is a value a lot of people have, so they will vote to keep their jobs, because that aligns with their values of earning a living and being willing to do hard work.  They also value the history of where they live and family that lives there, and are against moving or retraining and moving.  So here we are, talking about coal all the time.

AlanStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 09:35:59 AM »
And 10$ says cowboys on horse back riding the range will be the focus of talking points during upcoming healthcare debates. 
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Re: Coal
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 03:29:40 PM »


The obsession with coal has to do with coal being a minor (major?  doubt it?) industry in several swing states.

This is nothing more than a political argument to get people nostalgic about "ye old days" when life was simple: you go through high school, get a mining/mechanic/blue collar job and die doing it.

There's no economic basis for this. Eventually, renewables and natural gas will become so cheap there will only be renewable companies left. Renewables still has way more jobs than coal so in a decade or so the "invisible hand" will do what the government can't (won't).

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MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 05:19:43 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-oliver-hbo-reportedly-sued-for-defamation-by-coal-baron-robert-e-murray_us_594bca74e4b01cdedf00d5c2

Full disclosure- I only skimmed the article.

Oliver already knew he was going to sue because that's what he does. Just another reason he loves Trump. They both hate facts.

Lis

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Re: Coal
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2017, 07:39:09 AM »

nereo

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Re: Coal
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2017, 07:55:02 AM »
Ironically, i've read that even most coal miners don't particularly care about having coal jobs.  They just want jobs, and often they live in rural areas where it's coal or nothing.  Seems most coal miners would happily switch to factory/manufacturing work if such opportunities arise (but they rarely do). 

To those community's ears, when they hear "we're bringing coal back" it's interpreted as "we're going to save your town and bring prosperity back".  I can't fault them for hoping - many of these places were nice middle-class towns before mechanization took over and no one wants to see their hometown slowly decay.

Oh yes, let's not forget mechanization - fracking may be the coffin nail in coal mining, but coal has been losing massive amounts of jobs as bigger and more complex machinery supplants manual labor. No one digs a coal pit with a pick-ax anymore, and coal carts have gone from those tiny 1/4 gauge tracks Indiana Jones rode in to the new Caterpiller 797 that can haul 400t per load.
Open-top mines in the west have made the shaft mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia prohibitively expensive.  Open top mines in the west can mine 15-20T of coal per employee-hour.  Shaft mines in the east struggle to break 3T per employee-hour.  50 years ago it was ~1T/employee-hour.
Efficiencies at work...
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MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2017, 08:41:16 AM »
Ironically, i've read that even most coal miners don't particularly care about having coal jobs.  They just want jobs, and often they live in rural areas where it's coal or nothing.  Seems most coal miners would happily switch to factory/manufacturing work if such opportunities arise (but they rarely do). 

To those community's ears, when they hear "we're bringing coal back" it's interpreted as "we're going to save your town and bring prosperity back".  I can't fault them for hoping - many of these places were nice middle-class towns before mechanization took over and no one wants to see their hometown slowly decay.

Oh yes, let's not forget mechanization - fracking may be the coffin nail in coal mining, but coal has been losing massive amounts of jobs as bigger and more complex machinery supplants manual labor. No one digs a coal pit with a pick-ax anymore, and coal carts have gone from those tiny 1/4 gauge tracks Indiana Jones rode in to the new Caterpiller 797 that can haul 400t per load.
Open-top mines in the west have made the shaft mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia prohibitively expensive.  Open top mines in the west can mine 15-20T of coal per employee-hour.  Shaft mines in the east struggle to break 3T per employee-hour.  50 years ago it was ~1T/employee-hour.
Efficiencies at work...

Yep, and coal company owners know jobs aren't coming back. I don't think they would be in any hurry for them to come back either. It means less money in their pockets. Hell many of them even understand they may be losing healthcare here soon, yet don't seem to really care. You have to wonder, what makes a person vote for a person that knowingly lies to you, yanks your health insurance and essentially makes fun of you? Beats me.

nereo

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Re: Coal
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2017, 08:51:27 AM »
Ironically, i've read that even most coal miners don't particularly care about having coal jobs.  They just want jobs, and often they live in rural areas where it's coal or nothing.  Seems most coal miners would happily switch to factory/manufacturing work if such opportunities arise (but they rarely do). 

To those community's ears, when they hear "we're bringing coal back" it's interpreted as "we're going to save your town and bring prosperity back".  I can't fault them for hoping - many of these places were nice middle-class towns before mechanization took over and no one wants to see their hometown slowly decay.

Oh yes, let's not forget mechanization - fracking may be the coffin nail in coal mining, but coal has been losing massive amounts of jobs as bigger and more complex machinery supplants manual labor. No one digs a coal pit with a pick-ax anymore, and coal carts have gone from those tiny 1/4 gauge tracks Indiana Jones rode in to the new Caterpiller 797 that can haul 400t per load.
Open-top mines in the west have made the shaft mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia prohibitively expensive.  Open top mines in the west can mine 15-20T of coal per employee-hour.  Shaft mines in the east struggle to break 3T per employee-hour.  50 years ago it was ~1T/employee-hour.
Efficiencies at work...

Yep, and coal company owners know jobs aren't coming back. I don't think they would be in any hurry for them to come back either. It means less money in their pockets. Hell many of them even understand they may be losing healthcare here soon, yet don't seem to really care. You have to wonder, what makes a person vote for a person that knowingly lies to you, yanks your health insurance and essentially makes fun of you? Beats me.

I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.
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AlanStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2017, 10:01:15 AM »
...
I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Yes but there seems to be common paradigm that it is a God Given American Right to be able to get a solid middle class job with a HS education within 20 miles of where you grew up.  This is on every level stupid - but it seems to be a foundational assumption no politician will bring up or is willing to tell people that they may need to move.  Not every community can be economically self sufficient.
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deadlymonkey

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Re: Coal
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2017, 10:16:30 AM »
Ironically, i've read that even most coal miners don't particularly care about having coal jobs.  They just want jobs, and often they live in rural areas where it's coal or nothing.  Seems most coal miners would happily switch to factory/manufacturing work if such opportunities arise (but they rarely do). 

To those community's ears, when they hear "we're bringing coal back" it's interpreted as "we're going to save your town and bring prosperity back".  I can't fault them for hoping - many of these places were nice middle-class towns before mechanization took over and no one wants to see their hometown slowly decay.

Oh yes, let's not forget mechanization - fracking may be the coffin nail in coal mining, but coal has been losing massive amounts of jobs as bigger and more complex machinery supplants manual labor. No one digs a coal pit with a pick-ax anymore, and coal carts have gone from those tiny 1/4 gauge tracks Indiana Jones rode in to the new Caterpiller 797 that can haul 400t per load.
Open-top mines in the west have made the shaft mines of Pennsylvania and West Virginia prohibitively expensive.  Open top mines in the west can mine 15-20T of coal per employee-hour.  Shaft mines in the east struggle to break 3T per employee-hour.  50 years ago it was ~1T/employee-hour.
Efficiencies at work...

Yep, and coal company owners know jobs aren't coming back. I don't think they would be in any hurry for them to come back either. It means less money in their pockets. Hell many of them even understand they may be losing healthcare here soon, yet don't seem to really care. You have to wonder, what makes a person vote for a person that knowingly lies to you, yanks your health insurance and essentially makes fun of you? Beats me.

I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Except HRC didn't offer that.  She offered clear options to Coal workers.  They need to either use their same skills and be hired to conduct environmental cleanup or go into federally funded training programs to go do something else.  She was completely honest in that Coal could not and would not be coming back so she wouldn't even try to "save" it.  The democrats offered realism, Trump offered fantasy.  In that case, a lot of people prefer Fantasy.

Kris

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Re: Coal
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2017, 10:26:38 AM »
...
I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Yes but there seems to be common paradigm that it is a God Given American Right to be able to get a solid middle class job with a HS education within 20 miles of where you grew up.  This is on every level stupid - but it seems to be a foundational assumption no politician will bring up or is willing to tell people that they may need to move.  Not every community can be economically self sufficient.

Exactly. That drives me freaking crazy, especially from anti-welfare, pull-yourselves-up-by-your bootstraps working class Republicans who bitch all the time about how hard they have it and how their jobs are disappearing, but literally expect someone to just make jobs appear in front of them. Like most of my relatives in rural Iowa who voted for Trump. They have mocked the shit out of me for decades for moving away, getting an education, becoming a "big city liberal elite" and basically having money and a good life. I came from EXACTLY where they did, and I'm the lazy, libtard welfare-loving elitist who doesn't work a "real" job using my hands and gets everything handed to me. For. Fuck's. Sake. I've come to the conclusion that they'd rather bitch and complain and hate the other side, than refuse to admit that they just lack the initiative, take a healthy dose of realism and pull their shit together.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 10:30:36 AM by Kris »
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

doggyfizzle

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Re: Coal
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2017, 10:57:56 AM »
...
I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Yes but there seems to be common paradigm that it is a God Given American Right to be able to get a solid middle class job with a HS education within 20 miles of where you grew up.  This is on every level stupid - but it seems to be a foundational assumption no politician will bring up or is willing to tell people that they may need to move.  Not every community can be economically self sufficient.

Exactly. That drives me freaking crazy, especially from anti-welfare, pull-yourselves-up-by-your bootstraps working class Republicans who bitch all the time about how hard they have it and how their jobs are disappearing, but literally expect someone to just make jobs appear in front of them. Like most of my relatives in rural Iowa who voted for Trump. They have mocked the shit out of me for decades for moving away, getting an education, becoming a "big city liberal elite" and basically having money and a good life. I came from EXACTLY where they did, and I'm the lazy, libtard welfare-loving elitist who doesn't work a "real" job using my hands and gets everything handed to me. For. Fuck's. Sake. I've come to the conclusion that they'd rather bitch and complain and hate the other side, than refuse to admit that they just lack the initiative, take a healthy dose of realism and pull their shit together.

You took the words right off my keyboard!  I was going to say the exact same thing.  As an employee in the oil industry, I am regarded with extreme skepticism when I tell my coworkers they shouldn't be surprised to see significant gains in electrified transportation in the next 20 years and to plan accordingly.  For whatever reason, many seem to think that if only the Democrats would get out of the way, they could happily poke holes in West Texas until the Rapture happens.  "The Bronze Age didn't end for lack of bronze" comes to mind when trying to come up with sympathy for the coal industry.  Especi

MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2017, 12:12:46 PM »
...
I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Yes but there seems to be common paradigm that it is a God Given American Right to be able to get a solid middle class job with a HS education within 20 miles of where you grew up.  This is on every level stupid - but it seems to be a foundational assumption no politician will bring up or is willing to tell people that they may need to move.  Not every community can be economically self sufficient.

Exactly. That drives me freaking crazy, especially from anti-welfare, pull-yourselves-up-by-your bootstraps working class Republicans who bitch all the time about how hard they have it and how their jobs are disappearing, but literally expect someone to just make jobs appear in front of them. Like most of my relatives in rural Iowa who voted for Trump. They have mocked the shit out of me for decades for moving away, getting an education, becoming a "big city liberal elite" and basically having money and a good life. I came from EXACTLY where they did, and I'm the lazy, libtard welfare-loving elitist who doesn't work a "real" job using my hands and gets everything handed to me. For. Fuck's. Sake. I've come to the conclusion that they'd rather bitch and complain and hate the other side, than refuse to admit that they just lack the initiative, take a healthy dose of realism and pull their shit together.

Somewhat what JD Vance described in Hillbilly Elegy although not quite as subtle. Off topic, but your responses just reminded me of that book.

nereo

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Re: Coal
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2017, 12:53:53 PM »
...
I've thought about this a great deal, and the conclusion I've reached is that they were not provided with another option.  DJT compaigned to 'bring coal back' and eliminate regulations.  Those truly honest with themselves must have realized job growth would be moderate and temporary.  But what did the DNC/HRC offer them?  ...more of the same.
Option A was some improvement and (perhaps even more importantly) someone willing to highlight their plight.  Option B was continued decline and continued demonization of their livelihoods as destroying the planet and a relic of the past.  Both true, but when your town has no other immediate viable option you choose what you can.

Dems have lost the messaging about how their policies will improve everyone's lives.  "It's getting better but slowly" was Obama's de-facto mantra for 8 years. In retrospect it was all too easy for DJT to blame the slowness on Dems, regardless of the realities.

Yes but there seems to be common paradigm that it is a God Given American Right to be able to get a solid middle class job with a HS education within 20 miles of where you grew up.  This is on every level stupid - but it seems to be a foundational assumption no politician will bring up or is willing to tell people that they may need to move.  Not every community can be economically self sufficient.

Exactly. That drives me freaking crazy, especially from anti-welfare, pull-yourselves-up-by-your bootstraps working class Republicans who bitch all the time about how hard they have it and how their jobs are disappearing, but literally expect someone to just make jobs appear in front of them. Like most of my relatives in rural Iowa who voted for Trump. They have mocked the shit out of me for decades for moving away, getting an education, becoming a "big city liberal elite" and basically having money and a good life. I came from EXACTLY where they did, and I'm the lazy, libtard welfare-loving elitist who doesn't work a "real" job using my hands and gets everything handed to me. For. Fuck's. Sake. I've come to the conclusion that they'd rather bitch and complain and hate the other side, than refuse to admit that they just lack the initiative, take a healthy dose of realism and pull their shit together.

You took the words right off my keyboard!  I was going to say the exact same thing.  As an employee in the oil industry, I am regarded with extreme skepticism when I tell my coworkers they shouldn't be surprised to see significant gains in electrified transportation in the next 20 years and to plan accordingly.  For whatever reason, many seem to think that if only the Democrats would get out of the way, they could happily poke holes in West Texas until the Rapture happens.  "The Bronze Age didn't end for lack of bronze" comes to mind when trying to come up with sympathy for the coal industry.  Especi
I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy. 
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Jrr85

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Re: Coal
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2017, 02:10:41 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal.  And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery. 

stackorstarve

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Re: Coal
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2017, 02:55:13 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal.  And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.
I mean "demonizing" is a little harsh. Ignore is probably closer. But politically speaking Democrats weren't going to win over that population. Really, though coal miners are *generally* of the rural, conservative type anyway.

I mean coal jobs are going to go away regardless of regulations. Natural gas and renewables are gaining an increasing market share even without government support. I wouldn't be surprised if the "put the coal miners to work" backfires politically on Trump. Whatever obstacles the government may put in the way of renewables won't stop renewables, just slow it down. I'm personally not too worried about future policy on coal.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2017, 03:14:06 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.
I'm not sure that I agree with the bolded parts.  By every account I've read, mechanization and cheaper alternatives have been the primary driver of the loss in coal jobs.  Over-regulation has accounted for very little.
I'm also not convinced that regulations were "overly aggressive".  Yes they made coal plants and coal mining a lot more expensive to run, but I'd argue that this reflects something closer to their true cost.  Unfiltered coal plants cost an almost un-calculatable amount in damage to both the environment and human health (see examples from large cities around the turn of the 19th century).  Un-regulated mining pollutes rivers, lakes and groundwater, disrupting fishing, ecosystems and aquafers. 

So yeah, while its relatively straightforward to calculate the cost of these regulations it doesn't mean they aren't 'fair' (or worse) from an open-market perspective.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2017, 03:28:17 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.
I'm not sure that I agree with the bolded parts.  By every account I've read, mechanization and cheaper alternatives have been the primary driver of the loss in coal jobs.  Over-regulation has accounted for very little.
I'm also not convinced that regulations were "overly aggressive".  Yes they made coal plants and coal mining a lot more expensive to run, but I'd argue that this reflects something closer to their true cost.  Unfiltered coal plants cost an almost un-calculatable amount in damage to both the environment and human health (see examples from large cities around the turn of the 19th century).  Un-regulated mining pollutes rivers, lakes and groundwater, disrupting fishing, ecosystems and aquafers. 

So yeah, while its relatively straightforward to calculate the cost of these regulations it doesn't mean they aren't 'fair' (or worse) from an open-market perspective.
Technically speaking, regulations on coal did affect the industry (not to the scale that be technology did but somewhat). Now most people consider the pollution create by coal fire plants to be a sizable market externality that the regulations did correct. Now I'm not sure really because I haven't really researched it (and don't really care), but yeah it would be difficult, at best, to make the case for regulations leading to significant job loss in that industry.

Of course until people are willing to understand economics, politicians can get away with a lot of bs.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2017, 04:17:11 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.
I'm not sure that I agree with the bolded parts.  By every account I've read, mechanization and cheaper alternatives have been the primary driver of the loss in coal jobs.  Over-regulation has accounted for very little. 
  Fracking and I would assume mechanization played a big part, but the only "studies" I've seen downplaying regulations are as laughable as the EPA cost benefit analyses.  But regardless, coal mines know where their coal is going.  If there is a coal plant with 10 to 15 years of economic life that is shut down because of fear that future regulations will strand necessary investments, I think it's pretty reasonable for the miners that were supplying coal to that plant who subsequently lost their jobs to blame the regulatory environment. 

I'm also not convinced that regulations were "overly aggressive".  Yes they made coal plants and coal mining a lot more expensive to run, but I'd argue that this reflects something closer to their true cost.  Unfiltered coal plants cost an almost un-calculatable amount in damage to both the environment and human health (see examples from large cities around the turn of the 19th century).  Un-regulated mining pollutes rivers, lakes and groundwater, disrupting fishing, ecosystems and aquafers. 

So yeah, while its relatively straightforward to calculate the cost of these regulations it doesn't mean they aren't 'fair' (or worse) from an open-market perspective.

  Overly aggressive from a legal standpoint.  It's possible it's good economics, but people that are concerned about their economic future are going to focus in on the part where the EPA is determined to harm coal whether they have the statutory authority to do so or not, and for people to then turn around and say that they have to push the limits legally because coal is so terrible sounds not very different from demonizing their work. And that is not going to get you votes from coal country. 

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Re: Coal
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2017, 04:24:35 PM »

I mean "demonizing" is a little harsh. Ignore is probably closer.

I don't think there is any reasonable way to characterize anything the democratic party has done with respect to coal as "ignoring".  You may not notice, but the people whose livelihoods depend on it certainly do. 

But politically speaking Democrats weren't going to win over that population. Really, though coal miners are *generally* of the rural, conservative type anyway.
  West Virginia has not exactly been a republican stranglehold.  Plenty of traditional democrat voters in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc., that are old school, populist democrats, just like their used to be all across the south.  Lots of those democrats who voted for Obama voted for Trump (although I would guess they voted more against Hillary and Democrats than for Trump, who of course sounds like a populist democrat, which is what he was until the moment he decided to run for president). 



I mean coal jobs are going to go away regardless of regulations. Natural gas and renewables are gaining an increasing market share even without government support. I wouldn't be surprised if the "put the coal miners to work" backfires politically on Trump. Whatever obstacles the government may put in the way of renewables won't stop renewables, just slow it down. I'm personally not too worried about future policy on coal.

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WIth respect to natural gas, this is correct, and on a long enough time scale, it's probably true with respect to renewables, but if the government stopped the massive subsidies for renewables right now the entire industry would be devastated.  Take away the 30% federal tax credit and mandated renewable portfolios and basically every project where a hammer isn't already being swung would cease in the U.S., except for vanity solar projects by rich people.   

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Re: Coal
« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2017, 04:48:12 PM »

I mean "demonizing" is a little harsh. Ignore is probably closer.

I don't think there is any reasonable way to characterize anything the democratic party has done with respect to coal as "ignoring".  You may not notice, but the people whose livelihoods depend on it certainly do. 

Demonizing implies some sort of active role to make these people seem less than human. Categorically not true. Implementing policy that causes job loss for certain workers is not demonizing. Plus I'd make the economic argument that those jobs were going out anyway; cross training into new fields is going to have to come sooner than later. And I disagree with the characterization of a job being a "livelihood". This implies that your job is your life which is not true for many jobs and if you were to protect those jobs that it is true for, you are inherently placing an artificial importance on some jobs over others. Those towns are going to be worse off temporarily as many "motowns" were and will be. But to protect these jobs on a "livelihood" basis would open the doors to protect any job which is counter to the idea that economic progress is built on (the new structure breaking down the old structure). Againng jobs for the sole purpose of getting rid of a job is bad but politicians often pursue policies that cause job loss as a side effect, never a direct attack on a certain job.

But politically speaking Democrats weren't going to win over that population. Really, though coal miners are *generally* of the rural, conservative type anyway.
  West Virginia has not exactly been a republican stranglehold.  Plenty of traditional democrat voters in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc., that are old school, populist democrats, just like their used to be all across the south.  Lots of those democrats who voted for Obama voted for Trump (although I would guess they voted more against Hillary and Democrats than for Trump, who of course sounds like a populist democrat, which is what he was until the moment he decided to run for president). 

I'd argue that the states were flipped from blue to red, less due to voters switching from Dem to GOP but rather that voter turnout for Dems was very low. People love a positively charismatic character. Many Democrat voters were dismayed that Bernie didn't get the nomination which may have been part of the cause for low Democrat voter turnout.

I mean coal jobs are going to go away regardless of regulations. Natural gas and renewables are gaining an increasing market share even without government support. I wouldn't be surprised if the "put the coal miners to work" backfires politically on Trump. Whatever obstacles the government may put in the way of renewables won't stop renewables, just slow it down. I'm personally not too worried about future policy on coal.

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WIth respect to natural gas, this is correct, and on a long enough time scale, it's probably true with respect to renewables, but if the government stopped the massive subsidies for renewables right now the entire industry would be devastated.  Take away the 30% federal tax credit and mandated renewable portfolios and basically every project where a hammer isn't already being swung would cease in the U.S., except for vanity solar projects by rich people.   

I'd point out two things:

1. That there are a large amount of subsidies to the fossil fuels industry (though less than half as much as renewables but still a sizeable amount). And those are subsidies to a well-established industry.

2. Renewables get a lot of subsidies but most of that gets churned back into research and development so it's basically a research grant from the government to improve technology.  It's unfair to say that the renewables industry would collapse without subsidies. It's a new industry with a lot of research still to go, but it's important to note that the sector has a ton of private investment. Much of the subsidies that the industry depends on would be supplanted with private investment.

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« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 04:53:56 PM by stackorstarve »
"...the idea that any of this stuff -- careers, and job interviews, and diplomas, and the jobs themselves as, like, a normal, human construction...that you're all designed to do -- that's crazy!" -- Hank Green

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daverobev

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Re: Coal
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2017, 04:52:32 PM »
Wow,  *4* Pinocchios.

What is this obsession with coal all about, anyway?     Much less than 1/10% of the US workforce works in coal.   Why is it such a big deal?  (Edit: I'll try and watch John Oliver tonight)

Off topic, but I feel the same about the Canadian dairy industry. Lobbying is such a disgrace.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2017, 05:12:10 PM »
But, but, that's different.   It says so right here:

Supply management ensures fairness for dairy farmers and benefits milk processors, consumers and the economy.

https://www.dairyfarmers.ca/what-we-do/supply-management

I find it difficult to sort out the real situation.   Almost everyone discussing it has a vested interest.    IMO the bottom line in this case is that central planning doesn't work as well as the free market.   The government needs to stick to regulating the product to ensure safety, etc., and get out of the central planning business.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Coal
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2017, 05:31:29 PM »
Donald Trump in 1990: "The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people donít have the imagination ó or whatever ó to leave their mine. They donít have 'it.'"

The reason I was able to change my life after growing up in poverty was that I looked around, saw that Hillbilly Mountain was absolutely hopeless, and then got the Hell out of Dodge. That's what these coal miners need to do. Screw Appalachia and screw the coal mines. Those coal miners don't owe anybody anything. They should follow my example, sell everything they own, and move somewhere with better prospects to build an actual life for themselves. No more believing in politicians' fairy tales and dreams of yesteryear.

Kris

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Re: Coal
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2017, 05:34:42 PM »
Donald Trump in 1990: "The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people donít have the imagination ó or whatever ó to leave their mine. They donít have 'it.'"

The reason I was able to change my life after growing up in poverty was that I looked around, saw that Hillbilly Mountain was absolutely hopeless, and then got the Hell out of Dodge. That's what these coal miners need to do. Screw Appalachia and screw the coal mines. Those coal miners don't owe anybody anything. They should follow my example, sell everything they own, and move somewhere with better prospects to build an actual life for themselves. No more believing in politicians' fairy tales and dreams of yesteryear.

I'm totally unsurprised Trump would say something like this, but could you cite the source?
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Coal
« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2017, 05:37:05 PM »
Donald Trump in 1990: "The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people donít have the imagination ó or whatever ó to leave their mine. They donít have 'it.'"

The reason I was able to change my life after growing up in poverty was that I looked around, saw that Hillbilly Mountain was absolutely hopeless, and then got the Hell out of Dodge. That's what these coal miners need to do. Screw Appalachia and screw the coal mines. Those coal miners don't owe anybody anything. They should follow my example, sell everything they own, and move somewhere with better prospects to build an actual life for themselves. No more believing in politicians' fairy tales and dreams of yesteryear.

I'm totally unsurprised Trump would say something like this, but could you cite the source?

It was from a Playboy interview for a 1990 issue with Trump on the cover.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2017, 10:30:00 PM »
I'm not so sure about renewables not competing without subsidies. Solar is about $3/watt installed now (quite a bit cheaper if you DIY some of it), so $10k for a 3.5kW system that would power a small house/condo in the western US with decent sun. 10.5 cents a kWh is average, so that system is going to produce something like $500/year of electricity.

You end up around 10 cents/kWh, pre-subsidy, with the solar setup over the system lifetime.

That's cheaper than natural gas fired electricity most places, and certainly cheaper than most coal fired. There are obviously load leveling issues for the larger system and if you live somewhere without much sun it won't pencil out, but still... that's freaking cheap power for a lot of folks. With no subsidies at all. And PV panel prices just keep dropping (and installers keep getting faster/better/cheaper as competition from the big folks like Solarcity drives the crappy ones out of business).

Wind is competitive too in many places, again without subsidies.

Coal's only future is for load leveling plants, but given it's other problems, it's hard to see that happening either.

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Leisured

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Re: Coal
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2017, 01:58:15 AM »
Coal is good for generating base load power round the clock, with other power sources topping up for shoulder and peak demands. The problem is that a new coal fired power plant will last for 30 years, and what will the cost of renewable power be then? If coal power becomes uneconomic in 20 years, coal fired plants become stranded assets. In Australia, our major banks now refuse to lend money for new coal fired plants to avoid these plants becoming stranded in the future, not because the banks are green.

In Australia we also regard gas fired plants being useful as load leveling, because they start and stop quickly. I do not know whether these gas fired plants are gas turbines, or gas fired steam plants.


gooki

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Re: Coal
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2017, 06:14:03 AM »
I'm not so sure about renewables not competing without subsidies. Solar is about $3/watt installed now (quite a bit cheaper if you DIY some of it), so $10k for a 3.5kW system that would power a small house/condo in the western US with decent sun. 10.5 cents a kWh is average, so that system is going to produce something like $500/year of electricity.

FWIW a 5kw solar array is $7000 USD (before sales tax) installed in NZ and we have no subsidises, and little competition.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2017, 07:01:38 AM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.

Ahh, the non existent war on coal. I do agree the Dems shouldn't have been so honest. They should have taken a page out of the conservative handbook. Pander to the coal mining towns by telling them liberals like Obama hate coal. And they will fight this war by slashing regulations which will bring jobs back and give them great healthcare making their towns prosper again. All the while knowing damn well coal jobs aren't coming back and taking their healthcare away while giving large tax breaks to the rich is on the agenda. It's fucked up ain't it? 

Truth is, Dems offered a way out. Conservatives offered lies. They chose the conservative way. Good luck I say. Heroin is a bitch! 

FYI, something I don't see mentioned much. Bush Jr. invested large sums of money in wind energy. Even he saw the impending economic benefit and employment opportunities in NOT coal.  Hell everyone thought has we an oil guy. But he is largely responsible for Texas being the national leader in wind energy. Go figure. 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:12:56 AM by BeginnerStache »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: Coal
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2017, 08:38:48 PM »
Trump won't bring back coal, but he will if he can destroy health care, the basis of a large amount of employment in coal country.

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/866735908329889793

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Re: Coal
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2017, 11:08:55 PM »
In addition to relying on me and you to pay for the health care for retired miners, they also want you and me to pay for the pensions their companies failed to adequately fund (something Chicago, Dallas, and Houston are probably salivating over).
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-budget-miners-idUSKBN17X20E

Why on earth (ha) would we throw more support at an industry that can't support itself and whose output poisons us?
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Re: Coal
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2017, 12:20:41 AM »


...

Why on earth (ha) would we throw more support at an industry that can't support itself and whose output poisons us?

...

I'd make the argument that most people are scared of the unknown. It's a large reason people don't invest to save for retirement, and a large reason why people can't let go of failing prospects.

It's like when the South fought to keep slavery. It was defending the only thing they knew and they would make up any reason (blacks are dumb, blacks are a danger to society, white people are just better) to justify staying on the same track. (A drastic comparison, I know, but you think generations from now people may see climate change in a similar drastic light?) Today it's less racist, more denial (climate change isn't real, alternative energy will never be as good as coal, etc.)

Also, some sweet irony when Trump was talking about coal jobs in Iowa (which has no coal jobs), and facepalmingly (intentionally?) misunderstanding wind power (in a state with one of the most wind power generated).

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MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2017, 05:19:21 AM »

Also, some sweet irony when Trump was talking about coal jobs in Iowa (which has no coal jobs), and facepalmingly (intentionally?) misunderstanding wind power (in a state with one of the most wind power generated).

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Yeah but Trump supporters, especially those that attend his campaign rallies still, don't have a clue. They just clap along gleefully and hold up there MAGA signs. He routinely contradicts himself. Hell he readily admitted he wouldn't hire poor folks for his cabinet and billionaires were better suited. Meanwhile during his campaign he championed "drain the swamp" of those same billionaires. Of course the same folks clapped both times. It's funny and sad all at the same time.   

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Re: Coal
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2017, 05:25:05 AM »

Also, some sweet irony when Trump was talking about coal jobs in Iowa (which has no coal jobs), and facepalmingly (intentionally?) misunderstanding wind power (in a state with one of the most wind power generated).

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Yeah but Trump supporters, especially those that attend his campaign rallies still, don't have a clue. They just clap along gleefully and hold up there MAGA signs. He routinely contradicts himself. Hell he readily admitted he wouldn't hire poor folks for his cabinet and billionaires were better suited. Meanwhile during his campaign he championed "drain the swamp" of those same billionaires. Of course the same folks clapped both times. It's funny and sad all at the same time.   
The thing is his attitude is what people really like about him (and hate about him). The "I don't answer to anyone" is a powerful message that people eat up. Coal jobs just represent a larger nostalgia of a "simple past" that doesn't exist. Vague similarities to 1939 Germany. Or 2017 DRPK for that matter. At least moving in that direction.

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"...the idea that any of this stuff -- careers, and job interviews, and diplomas, and the jobs themselves as, like, a normal, human construction...that you're all designed to do -- that's crazy!" -- Hank Green

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will." -- Ronald Reagan

Jrr85

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Re: Coal
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2017, 12:01:09 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.

Ahh, the non existent war on coal. I do agree the Dems shouldn't have been so honest. They should have taken a page out of the conservative handbook. Pander to the coal mining towns by telling them liberals like Obama hate coal. And they will fight this war by slashing regulations which will bring jobs back and give them great healthcare making their towns prosper again. All the while knowing damn well coal jobs aren't coming back and taking their healthcare away while giving large tax breaks to the rich is on the agenda. It's fucked up ain't it? 

Truth is, Dems offered a way out. Conservatives offered lies. They chose the conservative way. Good luck I say. Heroin is a bitch! 

FYI, something I don't see mentioned much. Bush Jr. invested large sums of money in wind energy. Even he saw the impending economic benefit and employment opportunities in NOT coal.  Hell everyone thought has we an oil guy. But he is largely responsible for Texas being the national leader in wind energy. Go figure.

It was a non-existent war on coal with existing thousands of pages of the federal register implementing existing rules with the force of law and an existing president that bragged they would bankrupt any body that built a coal fired generating plant.  He wasn't dropping a MOAB in West Virginia coal country, but sure, only those rubes in coal country are dumb enough to think the democrats have an antipathy for coal. 

MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2017, 12:49:37 PM »

I tend to agree with what both you and Kris said.  On another thread I commented about how the GOP sees being poor as the failure of the individual, and how government regulations seemingly can only harm poverty levels, either by creating a dependence on welfare or creating burdensome regulations that prevent true prosperity.  Neither of those are supported by the data.
The frustrating and contradictory aspect of this mindset is that, while free and global markets produce winners and loser at the township level, its somehow regulation's fault when coal towns go bust - never the advances in technology (mechanization) or global competition (fracking, solar/wind). Even when regulations are designed to create a more level playing field everyone says they want (such as when we require that burning coal should have at least somewhere near the environmental impact of drilling for oil or natural gas) these regulations become the enemy. The government becomes the whipping boy.

Are you really surprised that politicians that basically take delight in saying they are going to bankrupt the coal industry get blamed for the coal industry doing poorly?  Fracking was going to result in a lot less coal mining going on regardless, but those coal mining towns are definitely a lot worse off than they otherwise would be if there hadn't been a war on coal. And there is also more animosity because the people in coal country, probably more so than anywhere else, understand that a lot of the EPA regulations used to discourage new coal plants and shut down existing coal plants were overly aggressive, to be charitable. 

If you don't want people in coal country to vote against you, don't demonize the coal industry.  If you have to demonize coal in order to pander to certain voting segments, don't be annoyed when people in coal country vote against you.  It's not rocket surgery.

Ahh, the non existent war on coal. I do agree the Dems shouldn't have been so honest. They should have taken a page out of the conservative handbook. Pander to the coal mining towns by telling them liberals like Obama hate coal. And they will fight this war by slashing regulations which will bring jobs back and give them great healthcare making their towns prosper again. All the while knowing damn well coal jobs aren't coming back and taking their healthcare away while giving large tax breaks to the rich is on the agenda. It's fucked up ain't it? 

Truth is, Dems offered a way out. Conservatives offered lies. They chose the conservative way. Good luck I say. Heroin is a bitch! 

FYI, something I don't see mentioned much. Bush Jr. invested large sums of money in wind energy. Even he saw the impending economic benefit and employment opportunities in NOT coal.  Hell everyone thought has we an oil guy. But he is largely responsible for Texas being the national leader in wind energy. Go figure.

It was a non-existent war on coal with existing thousands of pages of the federal register implementing existing rules with the force of law and an existing president that bragged they would bankrupt any body that built a coal fired generating plant.  He wasn't dropping a MOAB in West Virginia coal country, but sure, only those rubes in coal country are dumb enough to think the democrats have an antipathy for coal.

Actually the rules/regulations that were formally implemented were much less stringent than during his infamous speech made while he was a Senator. He made no such remarks as an "existing President." Obama was also talking about disincentives to building coal-powered plants with old technology, not coal plants with cleaner technology. He is also talking about a hypothetical, not making a ďvowĒ to bankrupt coal operators.

Shall we talk about the war on automobiles next? Or the war on financial institutions?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 06:07:16 AM by BeginnerStache »

waltworks

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Re: Coal
« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2017, 12:57:54 PM »
This one of the reasons I put solar panels on every house I've ever lived in. Just purely to say F-you to coal, coal mines, and coal fired power plants.

Don't like coal? Call up SolarCity (or whoever) and you can make a tidy profit at the same time you punch coal in the nuts.

-W

stackorstarve

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Re: Coal
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2017, 01:43:01 PM »
In a capitalist economy, if you can't recognize and move with change you get left behind. That's how the system works. It's brutal and can't be stopped. You have to roll with the punches, not push them back.

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"...the idea that any of this stuff -- careers, and job interviews, and diplomas, and the jobs themselves as, like, a normal, human construction...that you're all designed to do -- that's crazy!" -- Hank Green

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will." -- Ronald Reagan

Prairie Stash

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Re: Coal
« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2017, 02:12:36 PM »
http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/alberta-could-be-coal-free-years-ahead-of-deadline-as-atco-plans-transition-to-natural-gas-by-2020/wcm/69bb4d78-a2ad-4bf7-8eaa-1f592c056035

Interesting Canadian article about shutting down coal (in Canada). 1,469 MW of generating capacity is being converted to natural gas because of economics. They had a regulatory requirement to switch by 2030, this is going ahead 8-10 years ahead of the deadline. Natural gas is cheap in the USA, can coal last much longer?

"At todayís gas prices, itís very competitive with coal and much lower-emitting and we see it as a really neat way to transition off coal and still keep the reliability and flexibility that comes with big generating units to back up wind and solar as they come on and off the system,Ē Kiefer said"

nereo

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Re: Coal
« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2017, 03:21:06 PM »
http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/alberta-could-be-coal-free-years-ahead-of-deadline-as-atco-plans-transition-to-natural-gas-by-2020/wcm/69bb4d78-a2ad-4bf7-8eaa-1f592c056035

Interesting Canadian article about shutting down coal (in Canada). 1,469 MW of generating capacity is being converted to natural gas because of economics. They had a regulatory requirement to switch by 2030, this is going ahead 8-10 years ahead of the deadline. Natural gas is cheap in the USA, can coal last much longer?

"At todayís gas prices, itís very competitive with coal and much lower-emitting and we see it as a really neat way to transition off coal and still keep the reliability and flexibility that comes with big generating units to back up wind and solar as they come on and off the system,Ē Kiefer said"

From what I've read, coal's last stronghold is exporting to foreign markets that have no LNG storage infrastructure and little natural gas reserves.  Thankfully (for coal) there are enough of these economies that we'll keep exporting several million tons of coal for the next few decades (2016 the US exported 60 MMst even with near record low prices for natural gas)
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marty998

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Re: Coal
« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2017, 03:40:30 PM »
This one of the reasons I put solar panels on every house I've ever lived in. Just purely to say F-you to coal, coal mines, and coal fired power plants.

Don't like coal? Call up SolarCity (or whoever) and you can make a tidy profit at the same time you punch coal in the nuts.

-W

+1

I like this post.

MasterStache

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Re: Coal
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2017, 04:36:06 PM »
This one of the reasons I put solar panels on every house I've ever lived in. Just purely to say F-you to coal, coal mines, and coal fired power plants.

Don't like coal? Call up SolarCity (or whoever) and you can make a tidy profit at the same time you punch coal in the nuts.

-W

+1

I like this post.

Yep. I miss my solar panels on my old house. We recently switched over to 100% renewable with a new energy provider. It ended up being lower per kWh by switching. Go figure. Saves money and less of that nasty shit being burned.