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Who needs coal anyway?

May 11, 2016

With Bernie Sanders’ win in the coal producing state of West Virginia, coal mining is in the headlines right now.

Apparently those voters didn’t buy into Hillary’s promise to take away ALL the coal-related jobs.

In view of her disdain for coal, it might behoove us to celebrate how far we’ve come in replacing it.

Oh wait. There’s nothing to celebrate.

There are no “clean energy jobs” to take the place of the ones lost in the coal producing states.

This isn’t a rant to support coal miners.

It’s a plea for common sense and honesty, two things in short supply on the left side of the ballot.

Hillary Clinton’s war on coal isn’t just a war on the coal producing states. It’s a war on your budget and your very way of life. She sort of left that part out.

Consider the impact of the total loss of coal in light of this report by the United States Energy Information Agency. (https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=)

“In 2015, the United States generated about 4 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity.  About 67% of the electricity generated was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).

Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015:

  • Coal = 33%
  • Natural gas = 33%
  • Nuclear = 20%
  • Hydropower = 6%
  • Other renewables = 7%
  •                   Biomass = 1.6%
  •                   Geothermal = 0.4%
  •                   Solar = 0.6%
  •                   Wind = 4.7%
  • Petroleum = 1%
  • Other gases = <1%”

Remember when President Obama said snidely that utilities could build coal fired power plants but his EPA would issue regulations that would make them too expensive to operate? He was right.

Coal-fired plants aren’t closing because we don’t need the energy, or because renewable energy  has closed the gap and is now generating all the power we need.

Just for kicks, try using just 7% of the electricity you use now. The best way to do that quickly is just shut off everything that uses electricity for all but 100.8 minutes a day. And yes, that includes your cell phone and electric car chargers.

Try it.  Throw the main switch on your breaker box and live in the world of reality for 24 hours.

Then come back and tell us how we don’t need every form of energy we have.

Even if you add every other source of power generating energy into the equation, you  need to reduce your usage by a full one-third, or eight hours a day to account for the loss of coal-produced energy.

The U.S. has not built a new nuclear plant since 1969, although one was permitted to start construction in 2016, and most plants are at the end of their useful lifespan, so you might want to cut out another 20% of your usage.

Affordable energy isn’t just a homeowner’s problem.  Everything we consume uses electricity at some point in its production cycle.

The whole green energy movement is one big con job. Even the industry itself hasn’t found a way to compete on either availability or price with fossil fuels. As soon as the startups lose Federal funding, they tend to go broke rather quickly.

Right now, the replacement of choice is natural gas, but like oil and coal, it’s a fossil fuel and it’s under attack in some quarters as well.

No one would have a problem with moving toward more green energy, if it worked.

Even hydropower, undoubtedly one of the  the cleanest “fuels” of all , is under attack, with constant calls to tear out all the dams so the fish can live wild and free.

Yes, as far as wildlife is concerned it would have been better if humans had never existed. However, we do, at least until we find a way to stage our own mass extinction event.

Maybe one day we will find some magic energy pill and we won’t need any fossil fuel resources.

Note to Mrs. Clinton…we aren’t there yet.  We know it, and you sound kind of silly when you say we are.

From → op-ed

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