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Another misguided policy


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its only a short time left and the blue helmets will be runing everything.

hum...one world, one gov one money, one economy, one people..one leader...gee where have I read about this ground work before...I just can not place it for the life of me...

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The government isn't perfect (though I still think it's a helluva lot better than what most people have), but there wouldn't be any cleanup of industry going on at all if it wasn't for government, which is to say enough concerned citizenry, making a big enough stink about it, for politicians to be worried about getting re-elected and therefore getting off their @$$es and doing something.

Ever heard of the list of Superfund sites? Would industry self-impose that kind of cleanup? It may be less than ideal, but you can bet your @$$ that unregulated, unfettered industry wouldn't clean up a damn thing after itself. This only happens because of outside regulation and supervision. Every environmental protection that we have against industry fouling our water, air and land is a result of our imperfect government. So, for that matter, is all the public land we hunt and fish on.

Would you really want the alternative? All of our land being privatized, so that, like Europe, it's all "pay to play" and a sport for the rich? Would you really want the government telling industry to just go ahead and dump whatever it wants in the river? The thought of excessive government is no less terrifying to me than the thought of industry completely free to do whatever, and however, it wants.

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The country is definitely going in the right direction in this regard. I think both industry and the general public are way more tuned in to environmental concerns and thats a good thing.

Its been my point all along in the thread that we are getting better not worse.

I also agree its good we have someone looking over their shoulders to keep them honest its ultimately our jobs as citizens to monitor both sides because either can go too far

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Roost em 1st

Doesn't it always come down to dollars? More precisely profits?

Something to listen to while reading the ramblings...

Mountaintop mining produces 5% 10% of US coal, depending who you believe. That doesn't sound like much does it? It is part of the 70% produced from surface mining, the remainder coming from underground mining.

Just as John Henry was beat

(Lets hear something about John Henry, since he foreshadowed the dearth of jobs found in hard labor ans thats where we are with MTM)

, so too are today's coal miners. Why? Because profits are better through the use of machinery, emphatically true for MTM where less workers are used and more heavy equipment is utilized.

So, because we live in a capitalist republic our country's industries strive for better profit margins. The only way they can do that is by implementing tactics that maximize efficiency, cut labor costs. That's why MTM is sought throughout Appalachia. Want to get away from MTM? Well, then we have to find another way to keep the bean counters at the coal companies happy. Easy,we could pay more for the coal, provided it wasn't from the MTM operations (this could help spur growth for greenergy too). If their profits remained feasible I doubt they would care if they went underground or used alternative 'surface mining' practices. So long as they made money. The industry is reacting to an America that wants to pay as little as possible for products they use. Thank Sam Walton for that growing tide of people who want everything cheap. The big difference is that Walmart's buyers hide behind a foreign curtain so we don't see how a widget from China gets to our shelf store. That one widget caused alot of wear and tear on foreign soil. Enough on that, the point is America wants stuff cheap, and I understand that. If environmentalists could get folks away from thinking about their dollar so much they'd have a better chance. If they can't, well then greed will dictate how we get things like coal or oil from our native soil or shoes from a plant in China.

I'm sad for streams that get filled in with spoil from MTM. In the same breath I will say that if someone came to Kentucky to target quail, they'd head to Peabody WMA. They wouldn't find many quail, but the reclaimed strip mines are the largest parcel of quality habitat for them. If someone came to hunt Elk, they'd target reclaimed MTM areas in eastern KY. KDFWR radio collared some elk after their reintroduction to the state. Any guesses about where the elk favor? Yep, MTM areas that were/are designed/planted to improve habitat for the once vanished native species of KY elk. Of course these elk are a different strain than what once roamed the commonwealth. They seem to like it though, going from a heard of 1500 to 10,000 within a decade. Again, money, the little trout that were in the streams didn't generate the state and local revenue that elk do.

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that is all fine and dandy as long as those who want to develop "green" industries use their own private money.  My problem is that "evironmentalists" want the government to fund their industry or pass regs. that give them an unfair advantage over existing industry...

But isn't it just the opposite situation right now? As already pointed out, those existing industries receive a huge amount of government help, whether they actually need it or not. On top of that, the lobbies of those existing industries exert their influence all the time to get regs. passed which give them an unfair advantage over emerging competition.

I for one am not big on government "helping" industry unless its reducing the tax burden.  As far as subsidies go I am only familiar with the Ag. subsidies and those are a waste of tax payer's money for the most part.  My point was that if green tech is the future, then private industry will develop it to make money.

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I think some private work is going on but there's just no doubt that government involvement has the potential to dramatically assist the speed with which a new technology comes to fruition.

Like it or not (and I don't, though it has made a pile of money for many people in the midwest including a little for me) we can look to corn ethanol for experience with that.  If not for heavy government subsidies and mandates to use their product, investors (many of them farmers themselves) would not have built as many plants, the technology would have taken longer to perfect--and so on.   

Another--A very strong law with big implications for some corporations here --passed with bi-partisan support a few years back--has led to a boom in wind energy development.  Gone from very little outside of a couple of wind farms in the SW to involvment spread across the whole state. If there aren't windmills going up some local entity--a school district, a rural power company--is investing in one somewhere else.   

Is something there to replace MT mining of coal immediately?  If we aren't willing to embrace nuclear, I don't think so.  But government support of R & D into new sources of energy--and cleaner energy in general--was something both major candidates for Pres. agreed on last fall, if you recall.  So it's hard to argue that it's a minority opinion, like it or not.

And IMO the issue is not nearly as black and white as some claim.  We ought to be able to expect resource extracting industries to follow minimal environmental protection and mitigation standards.  We ought to be able to expect our government to enforce long standing environmental laws (rather than look the other way as has happened in recent years).  

And if the industry can't survive under those standards?  Then I think society has a decision to make.   

I know what my answer would be.

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One group says that people are leading longer, healthier lives, and the land and waters are getting cleaner every year.  Another group says that we are poisoning people, land and water and we can't go on like this.  ???  What to believe????? What to believe?
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This thread needs a picture.  I am really looking foward to visiting home (though I have not lived there for 40 years) next month.  This outing we cought 14 nice rainbows, this and several lesser smallies, and gills and rock bass bigger than your hand.  Not bad for the heart of coal country.
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The only thing that glows in the dark in this picture is Jeffrey's front teeth.  I hope he grows into them.  The fish were delicious.
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Roost em 1st

Windy, ceasing MT mining would eliminate 5-10% of our mined coal as a country. We need Nuclear to kick in for that? Please explain.

Topdog, nice fish.

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