Tag Archive: coal

Why the Dems Lost Middle America and Might Never Win Again

Friends, this past election cycle was a devastating one for Democrats nation-wide. Really, we got trounced. Our butts were handed to us. The numbers speak for themselves. From the poor counties of rural Kansas to the stark plains of Texas, from the coal country communities of Kentucky to the streets of Harrisburg PA, we got crushed. So to my East and West coast Democrats who are wondering why – why people to whom it would seem opposition to Republicans and their policies would be a fundamental part of life, would possibly carry them to victory – you need to understand the new math in town. It’s been creeping up on us for a while, but now it’s arrived. It’s Energy – fossil fuel energy, to be precise.

For Boomers and Millennials here on the East Coast, we’ve been taught two overarching, nearly sacred ideas when it comes to Fossil Fuel energy. The first, and this has been ‘drilled’ in our brains since elementary school, is that we’re running out. We’re running out of Oil and Gas globally, nationally, and locally. The Second, of a more recent cast, is that Fossil Fuels are rapidly turning the Earth into a nearly uninhabitable, apocalyptic planet. Now here’s the interesting part: I’m not going to comment on the veracity of either assumption. That’s not what this short blog is about. It’s about how any Democrat worth his or her weight doesn’t stand a snail’s chance of winning any electoral race, from Senate to Dog Catcher, in any Midwestern state, Alaska or Texas if he/she strolls in and discusses carbon tax, carbon emission limitations, or declaring war on “Big Oil.”

America is a big country, and there is a new truth in the land. It’s a truth that is now as much of a factor in our economy as the automobile industry was in the 1950’s, or whale oil a century before that. America is on the cusp of becoming the world’s foremost producer and exporter of fossil fuels and related products. America is no longer some huge version of Industrial England. It’s becoming, economically speaking, a gigantic, colossal version of Saudi Arabia.

The Oil and Gas are not running out. No, to the contrary, they are bursting from our lands, being extracted by entirely new and arguably destructive technologies and methods. And this factor, coupled with the reality of a booming, energy-hungry South and East Asia, will potentially bring in an unprecedented amount of wealth to some of the poorest parts of our nation, an event not seen in over a century. The people of Bismarck, North Dakota and Louisville, Kentucky know this well. They see the changes in town. The new construction. The $20/hr wages at Walmart. They see jobs, jobs, jobs. And localities and counties see revenue, revenue, revenue.

Here in Depression-plagued New Jersey we don’t see these changes. We don’t venture into our nation’s interior much these days. We prefer to fly over it on our journeys west to California and beyond. But ignoring it won’t make it go away.

So, fellow Democrats and environmentalists, keep attending your public viewings of movies like “An Inconvenient Truth.” Keep watching your documentaries on how the Earth is slowly transforming into another version of the hothouse that is Venus. Continue to write your blogs that stipulate that if we continue to consume fossil fuels at the present rate, entire nations will find themselves submerged by the sea within the next few decades. You may be right; you probably are right. And that approach will win you accolades in our universities, it will win you new friends on the streets of Manhattan and San Francisco; it will win you standing ovations in the United Nations. But from now on, it won’t win you elections in most parts of the United States. No way.

Still Think Obama’s Just GOP Light?

There are a lot of progressives out there — not a majority, but there are quite a few out there — who say that Obama is little better than a Republican, so we should back someone else or just not vote.

Today we have evidence that this just isn’t the case:

A coal power plant in Pennsylvania that has been blamed for spewing pollution into western New Jersey will shut down in January 2015 because of the costs associated with new federal regulations, its owner said today. …

The 53-year-old plant has been singled out by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as well as the EPA for creating a majority of the sulfur dioxide pollution in northern New Jersey.

John McCain wouldn’t have pushed for the mercury reduction regs that caused this closure, and the closure of nine other plants to the west of New Jersey.

This will result in fewer birth defects and mental issues thanks to the reduction in mercury in our air and water.  This will result in fewer cases of asthma and other breathing disorders.  This will result in extensive health benefits that will reduce the cost of medical care, insurance for businesses, cleaning our windows, etc.

Thanks to having Barack Obama in the White House instead of McCain.  What makes anyone think it will be better with Romney or Santorum?

New Jersey – The Green & Clean Garden State

Christine’s on staff at Sierra Club-NJ – Rosi

What is the future of New Jersey?  Will New Jersey continue to be the polluted view that people get from the Turnpike?  Or will it be a clean, bright and innovative future that will make New Jerseyans proud.  Governor Christie addressed this very topic in last week’s State of the State.  The  governor referred to the “New Jersey of our youth”, “setting a national example” and a “step in a very new direction”.  Now it us up to the governor and New Jerseyans ensure that is the right direction.

The Garden State’s past has been checkered with pollution and dirty industry.  [more below the fold]

The Fossil Fuel Trifecta of Disaster.

We are witnessing the Fossil Fuel Trifecta of Disaster.

Dec. 22, 2008, the Kingston Steam Plant fly ash pond broke, releasing 1.2 Billion gallons of toxic sludge from a coal plant and flooding the Clinch and Emery Rivers and 3000 acres near Kingston, Tennessee.

April 5, 2010, an accident killed 29 miners in the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, W. Virginia.

Since April 20, for 56 Days and counting, 50,000 to 84,000 barrels per day, 2.8 Million to 4.7 Million barrels of oil has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.  If it hits the Gulf Stream we can expect tarballs from the Deepwater Horizon to wash up on the beaches of Daytona, the Outer Banks, the Jersey Shore, Coney Island, The Rockaways, Jones Beach, Fire Island, Nantucket, Cape Cod, all the way up the coast to Maine, Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland.

The questions are “When?” not “If?” and “How Much?”

Statement Planned For Marlboro Green Awareness

In Monmouth County, NJ the Marlboro Republican Club, in Conjunction with the Manalapan Republican Club, is hosting Green Awareness Event, ?An Event to Educate and Benefit our Environment? Tuesday, December 9, 2008 @ 7:00 PM, Marlboro Recreation Building – 1996 Recreation Way, Marlboro Township.

I write on energy policy for Popular Logistics, on the web at http://www.PopularLogistics.com. I ran for school board earlier this year on a solar energy platform – on the web at  http://www.furmanforschoolboar…   I’d like to thank the Manalapan Republicans and the Marlboro Republicans for holding this event.

I’d like to talk about Nuclear Power and Coal, and clean sustainable energy.

Once a Faithful Bushie

While the politicization of the Department of Justice has been unfolding, it’s good to keep in mind that the DoJ was not the first executive department to be targeted for ideological purges by the Bush Administration.  From Day One, when VP Dick Cheney held his secret meetings with industry leaders to “get their input” on energy policy, the EPA was always Ground Zero for an approach I like to call “Governing by Blind Ideology”.

Of course, we’ve never been able to prove anything – and by “we”, I mean everyone who has tried to expose the blunt politicization of the EPA – because the VEEP has outmaneuvered everyone at every step.  But his two-step of diminishing returns may be finding its way into the corner with the (perhaps) unwitting help of embattled former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman.

According to the Washington Post today, Her’oner is now breaking her long silence over the Hell that was the EPA Administrator’s job under VP Dick Cheney.

Make the jump with me.