I don’t know about the rest of you, but every time I hear the term, “clean coal power” and the millions of taxpayer dollars Republicans are intending to throw at it, I get a little nauseous. Clean coal? Are we living in a dark fairy tale? How can we listen to Republican leaders spewing these words and not raise a rebuke? Why do I feel like I’m in the silent minority when thinking Republicans, all dressed up with folksy narrative, are so naked underneath?
The same confident, “I almost failed out of school”, let’s go “field-dress a moose” language gushing from the pen’s of McCain and Palin’s speechwriters mirror that of Bush’s in 2000. They didn’t even bother to change the sentence structure from eight years ago. The only media member who seems to think this is alarming and disturbing enough to report is Jon Stewart. Watch this clip. No, really, please watch this:
The same speechwriting team bringing some of our citizens to their feet in warm regard and support of the least approved president in American history (twice!) are at it again.
The simple idea of coal being somehow “clean” compared to renewable energy is laughable. It is coal. Packaging it and selling it as “clean” is like wrapping up dog poop and.. you know? I’m not even going to bother with an analogy here. Short story is, coal is a filthy mess. Ever picked up some charcoal? Hands afterward? Right. Black as night. We burn this stuff to get energy. Disgusting.
Yet, legislative leaders in states like West Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky insist millions of dollars in subsidies and R&D dollars are warranted to create “clean” coal. Nobody in the media seems to ask questions about why this is acceptable or even a plausible idea. Hmm. I wonder why that is? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that 5 corporations replete with shareholders expecting solid quarterly returns filter your national news to suit advertisers.
It makes sense that Republican leaders would want to re-brand coal. After all, it has been the bread and butter paycheck of their constituents for a very long time. Phasing coal out of those energy portfolios might be equivalent to Uncle Cletus alerting the family that he’s gay. [email protected]!
Scientists and environmentalists contend “clean coal” does not exist; it is a misnomer and an oxymoron. The National Resources Defense Council says that using the term “clean coal” makes about as much sense as saying “safe cigarettes.” The extraction and cleaning of coal inevitably decimates ecosystems and communities.
So, right-wing policymakers and shrewd coal industry lobbyists have called for a cleaner, softer, and kinder coal. You know, the type of coal that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside and lulls you to sleep while it lazily plucks away on a harp? Never heard of that coal before?
The well financed, borderline criminal coal industry spin machine is in full swing:
Playing on stereotypes and employing scare tactics about the unpredictability of the Middle East, the coal industry is developing a Frankenstein-like future for U.S. energy needs…In Kansas, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius recently blocked plans for two coal-fired electricity plants; afterward, on Nov. 5, a full page ad in Kansas newspapers explained that now, because of Sebelius’ decision, “Kansas will import more natural gas from countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran.” The ad displayed the grinning faces of the leaders of these countries and continued, “Without new coal-fueled plants in our state, experts predict that electric bills will skyrocket and Kansans will be more dependent than ever on hostile, foreign energy sources.” In fact, Kansas exports natural gas to other states, and the United States does not even import natural gas from Russia, Venezuela or Iran, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Guess whose hip pockets the industry is in?
Excerpted from Palin’s acceptance speech last week:
“Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more nuclear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative sources.”
Did you see that? They’re gonna create jobs with clean coal! As for those other “alternative energies”? Yeah, let’s move forward with them by not really creating jobs. Excellent. Instead, lets open our pockets to big oil and drill some more. Then wait! We don’t have enough cash and we’re counting on the votes of all those great folks in Appalachia who need not be bothered with sex education or literacy. They’re such proud Americans! Let’s make their coal mining jobs respectable in this green new world. Clean-Coal! U-S-A! Clean-Coal! U-S-A!
How about Mr. McCain’s acceptance speech?
My fellow Americans, when I’m president…we will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we’ll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex-fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.
There you have it, both members of the Republican 2008 ticket. Drilling for oil. Cleaning up coal. Just as a side, did you see how McCain emphasized his words above? You may be thinking: “Emphasized what? At least he said they were going to include cleaner cars and wind, tide, solar. What’s your problem??”.
“We will develop clean coal technology”.
That, friends, is a commitment.
“We will encourage the development and use of [all those renewables].”
“Encouraging development” is not a commitment. That statement, clear as day is a, “We’ll get out of the way if necessary, it’d be nice if those technologies got going on their own.”
All I can think of right now are three words, uttered a multitude of times by the only politician I really felt spoke from his heart at either convention. You can see it in his conviction. While nobody was really there to see his speech, plenty took note. Please, as Dennis Kucinich implores of us, Wake Up America!! Wake. The. @#$^. Up!!!
Last modified: January 30, 2014