“Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” — Daniel Schrag, White House Climate Adviser
(In case you’re unfamiliar with Daniel Schrag, he is Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Director of the University Center for the Environment, and Director of the Laboratory for Geochemical Oceanography at Harvard University. Educated at UC Berkeley and Yale.)
No sir, you Ivy League Educated Utopian Egghead, what’s needed is for you to appreciate that there are hard working Americans whose entire lives and communities are dependent upon the coal industry.
What you need to understand is that while the federal government seeks to crush energy production methods you deem unclean with unattainable environmental standards no other country in the world even comes close to, what you’re really doing is declaring a war on jobs.
You’re declaring war on the ability for hard working men to provide for their families the only way they know how; the way their daddies and their granddaddies did. And while you may disdain their lack of education or that they would actually choose to work in a coal mine rather than sit in an office all day, who the hell are you to decide how another human being chooses to live their life?
“There are a lot of generations that live in these communities, where your mom and your dad live here, your grandparents live here, your aunts and uncles, and all of them may be in a different form of the coal mining business, but when it goes, the community is gone, because people are going to have to leave to find work.
We’re begging for the right to work. That’s all we’re asking for. We’re not asking for any favors, we’re not asking for any handouts, we’re not asking for any concessions. All we’re asking for is the opportunity to work, pay taxes, provide electricity and provide for our families.” –Rocky Hackworth, Tyler Morgan Mine General Manager
It’s been several years since I’ve worked in the energy industry, but in the decade and change I worked for both major and independent oil and gas producers, never once did any VP, manager, engineer, geologist, foreman or field hand ever suggest that corners be cut when it came to environmental compliance and safety. I’m not saying it never happens, but it was my experience that every person I worked with complied with and oftentimes exceeded all state and federal laws and regulations and made damn sure everyone working there followed suit.
But that was a different time.
That was a time when the regulators were sometimes unreasonable (like the time the woman from Fisheries and Wildlife took a picture immediately following the detonation of explosives set to blast the legs off an offshore platform then instructed my boss to count the number of redfish said explosion killed–literally thousands of fish), but mostly they worked with the industry. Their job was to make sure we were exploring for, drilling and producing oil and gas in a manner responsible and respectful to the environment and property owners.
Not like today, where it seems the job of Federal regulators is to destroy the reputations and profits of the evil oil, gas and coal executives.
And if hundreds of thousands of men and women lose their jobs and their abilities to provide for their families, too bad for them.
They should have gone to work for a green energy company.
Or better yet, get a job with the federal government.
While you may think it noble to move towards your Utopian paradise, you may want to wait until you discover a green energy that’s actually viable, because wind and solar aren’t even close, no matter how many taxpayer subsidized billions you pour into them.
In the meantime, you might want to get a job outside the fantasy worlds of Washington and academia and see what the real world is all about.