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Probably should stop any road building in Appalacia too.

All building and development right down to spotting a double wide is accomplished by scraping a slope off  to create a level spot.

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IF the feds gave coal burning power plants a dollar for dollar tax reduction for every penny spent cleaning their exhaust it would be clean
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Tax reductions? Do you realize how subsidized the coal industry already is? If the Feds didn't already heavily subsidize the coal (and mining) industry, and made them pay for all of their own clean-up, instead of frequently passing the bill on to taxpayers, it would be a very different industry.
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Shut off the power, heat, and wear furs... Hunt in the dark???

Ban nuclear, turn off the gas pumps, start walking again.

Party's over!

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Dave Gowdey

Trash the environment, pollute the air and water, wipe out all of the wildlife, poison the women and children -who the hell cares about anyone else when a quick buck can be made?  Fortunately, the voters have turned out that ideology.  Personally, I hope they eliminate mountain topping completely - it causes so much more harm than any benefits it might bring.  

Some jobs and industries simply cost more than they're worth.  We can't keep robbing from future generations.

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Shut off the power, heat, and wear furs... Hunt in the dark???

Ban nuclear, turn off the gas pumps, start walking again.

Party's over!

The coal industry has only itself to blame. The industry (and I mean the coal companies, the unions and their senators and representatives) has fought any sort of rule or law that would make them clean up their act. The full and complete cost of using coal for energy includes paying to return the mined land to its approximate original condition, clean the coal mine discharges causing acid mine runoff and the elimination of particulates and sulfur from smoke stacks.

Most folks would have nothing but satisfaction with coal produced electricity if it were clean. And I do not mean zero carbons.

Spend some time on mountain tops dead from acid rain or on creeks with nothing alive in them due to acid mine drainage that used to produce a limit of brookies and folks might understand why coal has so many enemies.

A nuke plant would get my vote every time.

Just sayin'......


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I like wind power. No end to the force of the wind created by the convection of the hot air that blows around.

Build more windmills, ought to have one in view of every set of eyes in the US.

Gowdey mentioned voters, sheeple, most can be led, fed and fattened on hyperbole, ain't no way you're going to talk them into nuclear power, they grew up/were filled in by the early greenies screaming doom and gloom at the shortcomings and threats, real or imagined, of the early reactors. At least 1 or 2 generations away from that here.

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 Fortunately, the voters have turned out that ideology.  

Some jobs and industries simply cost more than they're worth.  We can't keep robbing from future generations.

It seems to me that the voters just changed the players not the game.  As to jobs what about the beloved UAW, the teamsters and teachers?  And in regards to stopping the robbing of future generations, I agree the current budget proposal is terrible.

The real solution to our environment problems is within each of us.  It isn't an us against them fight.  It isn't "the man" doing it to us, it is us.  As long as we buy the crap they produce they will keep making it either here or off shore.  Personally I hope they do it here so we will keep the profits and be reminded of the true cost of our mindless consumption.

We all have a lot of adjusting to do and pointing fingers doesn't hep the situation.


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Smithhammer I will admit I dont understand our governments policies toward coal or energy in general but this article seems to imply they do tax them and are currently offering tax incentives to clean up their by products

The twisted route our government takes to every problem makes my head spin


October 7, 2008

Bailout Contains Incentives for Coal Industry; Rockefeller Said More Than $1 Billion Would Result in Clean Coal Technology


The financial rescue package approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bush last week contains more than a billion dollars in federal tax incentives for the coal industry.

In a statement issued following Senate passage last Tuesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the legislation is "the key vehicle by which we begin to invest in energy research, including carbon capture and sequestration and coal-to-liquids."

Rockefeller also said the legislation "will help protect our coal miners by encouraging increased investment in mine rescue teams and state-of-the-art safety technology, while also keeping the Black Lung Trust Fund solvent."

Steven Broderick, Rockefeller's press secretary, said Monday that the tax incentives are designed to result "in billions of dollars in investments in clean coal technology and clean coal uses. I think we can all agree that if we're serious about energy independence then it's about time we started doing some of these things.

"Sen. Rockefeller has fought hard to expand the use of clean West Virginia coal and help keep our coal miners safe," Broderick said. "This legislation was the absolute right vehicle to keep investments in coal headed in the right direction."

The financial rescue bill originally had a $700 billion price tag. According to The Wall Street Journal, the coal-specific provisions in the revised bill total about $1.5 billion.

Those additions plus other changes made the final legislation $110 billion more expensive. The coal provisions:

* Expand and extend tax credits for advanced clean coal technologies, such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle and other coal electricity projects, as well as for industrial gasification projects, including facilities that produce both electricity and liquid fuels from coal.

* Establish a carbon capture tax credit of $20 per ton for carbon dioxide stored in geologic formations and $10 per ton for carbon dioxide use to enhance oil well production.

* Extend an alternative fuels credit, including coal-to-liquids, for an additional three years. To get the credit, coal-fired power plants would have to capture 50 percent of their carbon dioxide output through 2010. The percentage rises to 75 percent after that date.

* Make jet fuel made from liquefied coal eligible for a 50-cents- a-gallon tax credit.

* Continue a tax credit of up to $10,000 to help coal companies train mine rescue teams.

* Extend a deduction coal companies can take when they purchase mine safety equipment.

* Restructure the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The bill extends the time coal companies will pay into the fund but lowers the charge.

* Create a new credit for companies that use coal waste sludge as an additive in the manufacture of coke for the steel industry.

* Refund the coal excise tax producers have paid on coal exports.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said today, "It's very positive to have these kinds of things in a Congressional act. It shows confidence in the coal industry and demonstrates it is a big part of the energy picture of this country. You've got some looking-forward tax incentives and you've got recognition that companies are coming into compliance with safety regulations. When you have Congress look at it this way, it says coal is a very big part of the energy future of this country."

Hal Quinn, president and chief executive officer of the National Mining Association, issued a statement Friday praising Rockefeller and others who championed the measures.

Quinn said the legislation will "continue progress on the development and deployment of technologies that will result in cleaner electricity generated from coal" and will promote coal-to- liquid fuels, "which can help secure our energy future."

"These provisions also will create more family-wage jobs in U.S. mining and assist in our efforts to make mining even safer - our number one priority," Quinn said.

Melissa McHenry, spokeswoman for American Electric Power, said the main benefit of the financial rescue package is, "it will hopefully help maintain credit markets, which utilities are dependent on, just as we all are."

A provision that maintains renewable energy tax credits is beneficial "because it will help support increased development of renewable energy sources, which should bring down the cost of renewable energy," McHenry said. "AEP is a strong supporter of renewable energy where it is appropriate."

AEP has two projects that may directly benefit:

* The company has received approval from the West Virginia Public Service Commission to build an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power plant next to its Mountaineer Plant in Mason County, but the Virginia State Corporation Commission turned down a request to have AEP's Virginia customers share the construction cost. The Virginia regulator has said AEP's $2.23 billion estimated cost is unrealistically low. The project is in limbo.

* The company has a $70 million carbon sequestration pilot project underway at its Mountaineer Plant. The project will capture a slipstream of carbon dioxide off the plant's exhaust and bury it underground.

McHenry said the financial rescue bill's specifics are not yet entirely clear, "so it's difficult to say whether AEP's carbon- storage project in Mason County or its proposed gasification plant, also in Mason County, would benefit. We will seek to apply for any incentives that are available to support clean coal technologies."

An $800 million coal-to-gasoline plant Consol Energy Inc. and Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. plan to build at Benwood, Marshall County, also might benefit.

Paul Spurgeon, Consol's vice president of power development and coal conversion projects, did not return a call Monday seeking comment.

Contact writer George Hohmann at business@dailymail.com or 304- 348-4836.

Originally published by DAILY MAIL BUSINESS EDITOR.

© 2008 Charleston Daily Mail. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

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I would encourage folks interested in the issue to check out the above article, "Death of a Mountain," by erik Reese, which appeared in Harper's a few years back. Pretty eye opening. Read the first few pages, anyway. Reese doesn't seem to be a misty-eyed greenie, and it would seem that there are plenty of locals who don't like the practice. The images are pretty bleak.

Yes, we need our natural resources, but be need to be more honest about the costs associated with them. In my opinion, there is no justification for this kind of mineral extraction.

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Reese doesn't seem to be a misty-eyed greenie,

Uhhh, okay, the impression I got reading it was hardly that of an unbiased author, he was looking for, and found, every negative he could. Including a supposed political connection and cover-up. As I read the next article then, the area was supposed to have been important in reintroducing the elk herd, which is thriving there from everything I've read elsewhere.

I don't know, you can find to read whatever you want to, aimed to whatever ends you care to, I guess.

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Dave Gowdey

This doesn't seem like the rest of the story - it seems like PR put out by a mining advocacy group to cover their a$$es after the bad publicity they got for destroying the habitat.

As others have posted here - large flat areas with a few species of grass and some clumps of trees may look pretty, but they aren't even close to restoration.   Elk aren't particularly discerning about the habitat they need - all they basically need is grass and water.  This is why they are so common on golf courses and large lawns out west.  As for Turkey and deer, I notice they didn't claim that the population levels were better than before the area was destroyed.  I also notice that none of their claims are verified by independent sources.

Of all of the sources of information that I would choose to believe about reclamation projects - PR releases from an industry advocacy group is the last.  There's a reason that these are known as liars clubs.  

One interesting thing that has always puzzled me is that horrifically environmentally destructive practices like mountain topping are legal in the east, whereas they are illegal out west.  It's not that the western regulations are great, it's just that they aren't nearly as bad.  Even Wyoming, the largest coal producing state in the country - won't permit mountain topping.  They also have much more stringent regulations about reclamation (though still not sufficient).  This double standard in the coal industry still puzzles me.  

As for taxes and subsidies - certainly mining operations are taxed, and coal actually has a royalty rate that they pay to state and federal governments.  However, they also receive enormous subsidies from government.  When you do the math - most analysts would consider that these subsidies more than offset the tax payments, leaving the taxpayer holding the bag.  This is before the impact of carbon pollution is considered.  

As for nuclear power, what turned most people off - including the greenies - wasn't propaganda, it was Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.  What we all learned was that nuclear power isn't nearly as safe as the industry promised us -and that nuclear materials are really toxic, dangerous and difficult to deal with.  If we could solve the problem with nuclear waste - I think that most folks would embrace nuclear power.  Without a solution to the waste problem, most of us won't put nuclear at the front of our choices.  I agree that I would still put it in front of a coal fired plant, but I'd prefer more sustainable and less costly energy production options first.  

The irony of these discussions is that the only reason that we are having this discussion is because the power industry has Congress bought and paid for.  The future of energy generation is not with large power plants and massive power grids.  It is with a decentralized system.  

Homes can be easily powered right now by a variety of systems, from solar panels to fuel cells.  There are an enormous number of houses being built "off grid" that are not much more expensive than regular houses right now.  You can live a normal American life, without sacrificing any electricity usage, without being connected to the grid.  As the battery/storage technology improves this will be the electricity generation of the future.  It will not be cost effective to have large power plants and huge electricity grids at the level we have now.  While industry will still, to an extent, be depedent upon such delivery - it will be at a much reduced level.  

If Washington wanted to really help reduce our energy dependence and our carbon footprint - they would put solar panels on every building in the country.  Like the rural electrification project in the 1930s.  For a relatively modest investment - this would put many if not most of the coal fired plants out of commission, and eliminate our dependence upon foreign energy for electricity generation.  So why are we still planning to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on more power lines and power plants? Well, decentralized electricity generation would also put a lot of utilities out of business - and since they are major donors to both parties, that's where the money continues to go no matter how little sense it makes.  

Personally, when my finances permit, I'll be building a house with a fuel cell power system and drive a vehicle powered by a fuel cell - and I'll produce my own hydrogen with a solar panel.  No utility bills and no gasoline bills each month - I wonder why the energy industry doesn't want us thinking this way?

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