Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BIG COAL BOMBING Appalachia While Hillary LIes Another Bosnia Moment Missed By the Media & Blessed Are The Profit Makers

More on MountainTop-Removal Mining

And From Appalachian Voice Front Porch March 19, 2008
Hillary Clinton on MTR

First, I am glad to see any Presidential candidate speaking about mountaintop removal. Her answer could have been much better, for sure, but it also could have been much worse.
Secondly, I am disappointed that she is setting up this false dichotomy of “economic necessities” vs “environmental damage.” Mountaintop removal does the same thing to our economy as it does to our mountains. The destruction of one and the destruction of the other go hand in hand.

and further argues that Hillary is possibly being dishonest in claiming that she does not know much about the issue since she has been involved in the issue since at least 2002

Hillary Clinton has sat in on Committee hearings about mountaintop removal since 2002. She should know a thing or two about the issue. She also told folks from the region that she would join them on a flyover of affected areas, but that hasn’t happened either. Although, we’d still be glad to have her.

First I would like to again point out that Hillary Clinton claims she knows little about this mining process and it is all knew to her yet as Jesse Jenkins in the article below points out Hillary has since 2002 been on the Committee dealing with Mountaintop-Removal Mining concerns.
This should have become known by the general press or media but they are totally uninterested in spending more than a minute on this issue . I can only guess they believe that the American public is more interested in being told the New Myth that Coal will become America's salvation in this period of soaring gasoline prices than that a large proportion of America is being bombed on a daily basis turning the Appalachians into a moonscape.

So how is it that she sat on a committee and learned nothing about the issue - is she lying , is she a slow learner , does she take part in committees merely for show -all these answers pose a problem-

Here's a song for Strip-mining and Mountaintop-Removal

Old John Prine song about the horrors of strip mining in Kentucky

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) (Coal Co.)

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) is the world's largest private-sector coal company, with 2007 sales of 238 million tons and $4.6 billion in revenues. Our coal products fuel approximately 10 percent of all U.S. electricity generation and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.

And what is the trade-off between employment and security against wanton destruction of over 470 Mountains little or nothing for the majority of the peoples of Appalachia. But these are just your ordinary folk as it were who don't count for much in Washington DC. Only the rich and powerful and the the Big Corporations have any say. Then there are those who have investments in these corporations who just want to collect their share of the profits while ignoring what harm these corporations do whether they are blowing up mountains or building better " cluster bombs " or Napalm or Hydrogen Bombs . For Blessed are the Profits. Blessed are the Cluster Bombs.

And the politicians from Bush to McCain to Hillary Clinton are bought out by Big Coal. And even Barack Obama may fear Big Coal because they have deep enough pockets to bring down just about any candidate if they feel threatened. Is there no room for an honest or decent person in America's government ; is that what they should teach their children. So should they place a large banner in each classroom in America which reads: Profits are more important than mountains or people. As they What would Jesus do? Neocons and the religious Right trumpet Jesus and the Bible except when it comes to profits then Jesus & religion takes a back seat. Or is it that after decades of propaganda Americans are convinced that only communists or anarchists would favor the environment over profits and Big Business . Yet these patriotic businesses are quite willing to outsource in foreign countries like China or Burma when it suits their needs. And according to Bush & McCain & Hillary Jesus said " Let there be Profits and to Hell with the meek and the poor" or something like that. That was from Jesus' Sermon from the Leveled or Scooped -out Mount which had been destroyed by Mountaintop-Removal.

And those who love number crunching here are a couple of graphs on the pay-off of Mountaintop-Removal :
showing the impact of Big Coal and Mountaintop-Removal on Appalachia :

graphs from Huffington Post originally from Gristmill.grist.org

And here we see the pay off in employment and rates of poverty in exchange for Mountaintop-Removal and Strip-mining of coal.

Others are even more critical of Hillary and her stand on Big Coal and Mountaintop-Removal mining for instance from the Blog WattHead :

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Hillary Clinton Loves Her Some Coal/ by Jesse Jenkins

In an interview on West Virginia Public Radio this morning, Hillary Clinton revealed some pretty profound ignorance about the true costs of coal and especially about the destruction mountain top coal mining is wrecking on both communities and ecosystems in Appalachia.

Sure sounds like Hillary has drunk the (sour) kool-aid being peddled by coal-front group "Americans for Balanced Energy Choices" (or ABEC, which might as well stand for "American Blowhards Excited about Coal"). Lets compare what Hillary is stumping and what the coal industry's PR machine has to say:

# Clinton says: "Coal fits in very importantly because obviously, we have a great reserve of coal."

# Coal industry astroturf campaign says: "Coal is our most abundant fuel. The United States has more coal than any other fuel. A quarter of all of the known coal in the entire world is here in America."

# Clinton says: "We get more than 50% of our electricity from coal.

# Coal industry PR machine spews: "Coal provides half of America’s electricity generation and more than twice as much as the next-highest contributor — nuclear."

# Clinton says: "The challenge is how we are going to continue using coal and meet a lot of our environmental challenges. What I have said is that we'll have a new cap-and-trade system, and we'll take a lot of the money we raise from that cap-and-trade system and invest it in ... clean coal technology."

# The coal industry reassures us: "We are committed to making coal a clean energy source. ... Today, energy companies are working with the federal government to develop, demonstrate, and deploy the next generation of advanced technologies that will make it possible to reduce regulated emissions even further (to near-zero levels) and capture and store greenhouse gases."

Clinton even calls for "subsidies to coal-to-liquids plants that meet [an unspecified] environmental standard."

How does she feel about the prospects of "clean" coal?

"I'm excited," she says, about starting on all this pro-coal work today. She even admonishes the Bush administration for not being enthusiastic enough about "clean" coal and for pulling the plug on the FutureGen demonstration project.
It seems Hillary is unaware of the total horrific devastation caused by Mountaintop-Removal-
there is first the destruction of a ten thousand or hundred thousand year old mountain - maybe Mount Everest could be a likely target just to get some coal or whatever or because it is blocking somebody's view-

Then there are the trees and all the diverse plants growing on the mountain and in the valleys below which will be filled with toxic sludge sooner or later-
There is also the diverse animal life some of which is unique to Appalachia-
The destruction itself also creates dust and noise -
The on going negative impact on the environment and on the people will last forever -
Anyway there are a hundred things wrong with this method of mining and Hillary is unaware of any of them even though she for six years sat on a Committee dealing with the issue -
She also refused to do a fly over or visit mining sites-

For instance there was a clip on CNN recently showing what a great job mining companies did in reclaiming the land by planting grass and and a few trees- This is nothing in comparison to what is lost when you destroy hundreds of mountains , destroying streams and rivers and the water table and destroying the valleys so you can build parking lots or giant WalMarts or maybe a new Disney World.

Mountaintop-Removal Mining CNN LOVES BIG COAL
CNN glosses over the seriousness of the issue of Mountaintop-Removal Mining technique as if CNN were speaking on behalf of the coal industry. CNN glosses over the seriousness of the issue of Mountaintop-Removal Mining technique as if CNN were speaking on behalf of the coal industry. CNN doesn't bother to get both sides of the story and instead is dismissive of anyone who criticizes Big Coal as being left-wing nutters rather than concerned citizens of the Appalachian area.

and also see: Its Getting Hot In Here: Clinton: “Maybe there’s a way to recover those mountaintops . . .”March 19/2008

In an article from The Washington Post the reporter points out how unclear Obama's stance on the Coal industry is . At times he favors the environment and more regulations on the burning of coal while at other times seemingly favoring the coal industry. It appears that Big Coal has a great deal of clout and puts the fear of God into all potential Presidential candidates. This in itself is a sad state of affairs for the American people and for the very notion of true Democracy in America. I could find very little on the internet that would show Obama is still as he was year ago unequivocally against Mountaintop-Removal Mining.

Washington Post.com/Obama's Coal Stance, in Kentucky and Beyond / May 20,2008 by Alec MacGillis

It is difficult at times to separate Big Business from the so called independent state governments which are supposed to act according to the best interest of its people . But things are not that clear cut when politicians and Big Business have developed such a close relationship. We saw this over the decades with Big Tobacco who with the collusion of governments in the United States and here in Canada insisting they were not selling a deadly highly addictive drug- but for generations those in authority did as they were told to do by Big Tobacco who were seen as more important to politicians than the thousands dying each year as the result of smoking cigarettes or by second hand smoke. Those who raised the alarm were branded as anarchists, communists, malcontents , as anti-capitalist and UnAmerican that they dare attack Big Business . So now Americans are faced with other such issues which also need to be brought out of the darkness and into the light for discussion minus the propaganda of Big Coal and its lackeys and the Public Relations firms which are really just Factories producing Lies to sell a dangerous product to the public.

And at least one state government even helps to finance the public relations campaign and propaganda of the Mining Industry not just to the public at large but also within the schools of the state to justify Mountain Top Removal Mining. Its odd how those on the right will argue in favor of prayer and bible studies in school and yet see nothing wrong with Big Business foisting their world view on children. But I tend to forget the Evangelical form of Christianity sweeping the United States these days is that of Jesus as one who answers one's materialistic prayers so one can become wealthy or buy a luxury car or the oversized mansion they call a house. Its not as if they are praying for there to be less suffering in the world . Besides the more non-believers suffer the better for it proves that the believers are right and the non-believers in Jesus are wrong.

$400,00 Grant to Promote Mining/ Saturday, 17 May 2008/By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky's coal industry is getting about $400,000 a year in state tax dollars for educational materials that promote mining, including funding for public campaigns promoting the controversial practice of mountaintop removal.

The money is funneled through nonprofit groups run by the industry, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported in Thursday's editions. It is used mostly for statewide classroom programs and includes teaching materials and games.

Nonprofit groups that receive the funding include the Kentucky Foundation, which is run out of the Lexington office of the Kentucky Coal Association, according to tax and corporate records. The funding comes from the state's portion of unmined mineral taxes - taxes property owners pay on coal, oil and natural gas left underground.

and so it goes,

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