There's a War on Coal Raging in Rep. Ralph Hall's Head

Categories: Politics

war on coal.jpg
Appalachian Voices
We haven't checked in on our favorite congressman, Representative Ralph Hall (R-Antediluvian Era) lately. Not since he dove from a functioning aircraft dressed in nothing but a form-fitting American flag. Turns out, he's been rummaging through a dusty, cobwebbed steamer trunk stuffed with contraceptives and religious freedom, the war on marriage, the war on religion, Bill Clinton's penis and other dependable boogeymen.

He came up with a pearl this time: The War on Coal. Indeed, he recently threw his weight as the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology behind a bill intended to "rein in the Obama Administration's out-of-control EPA, which is waging an all-out war on American energy, and coal is at the heart of that war." Its passage -- the House's last legislative act before the November elections -- was resounding in that chamber of fever dreams, of course, and the bill will almost certainly see a repurposed future in the Senate men's room. That's because it prohibits the EPA from regulating the emission of greenhouse gases and mercury. It prevents tougher regulation of mountaintop removal mining. The hard-won environmental protections of generations would be gutted. As such, the bill's death should be an ignominious one.

But that's not the point. What's really at the "heart" of the war Hall is rallying his fellow Republicans to is nothing less than the economic fate of his own district. As he notes, Luminant's Monticello coal-fired power plant resides in the 4th Texas Congressional District, along with its lignite coal mines. Let there be no doubt about the fact that its future is in question. The company threatened to idle two units at the plant last summer if an EPA regulation curbing emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide went into effect. There was great GOP and industry consternation. A time of great tribulation in the electricity markets was foretold. Then, when the danger passed and a federal appeals court struck the EPA rule, Luminant announced it was idling them anyway for six months. It was cheaper to shut the coal-fired units down than it was to run them.

That part, Hall doesn't bother mentioning.

It's easy to see why not. Because it belies the very premise of the war on coal. Back when natural gas was expensive and the margin between it and coal-fired generation was vast, coal-fired power plants were printing money. Then hydraulic fracturing opened up heretofore unrecoverable subterranean realms to gas production, and suddenly that once-wide margin narrowed until there were times when it simply did not pay for generators like Luminant to even bother stoking the coal fires.

If there's a war on coal, it's a war of attrition waged by a market that no longer smiles upon the carboniferous fuels of yore. The war Hall speaks of exists solely in his own mind.

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20 comments
Edward
Edward

It's worth noting that the Republicans removed any mention of conservation from their party platform this year.

 

So now even the idea of conserving water, gas, electricity, etc. is a partisan idea, which is sad.

icowrich
icowrich

There is a war on coal, but it's being waged by their competition, the natural gas companies.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

ok, funniest nroth texas voices:

 

-Brad Thomas/Acme Brick

-Mick Mamis/Lawyer

-Ralph Hall/old guy

-Henry Lewis/Car Dealer in Canton

-David Moore/Writer......

.......and the granddaddy of them all.........Avery Air Conditioning Guy. 

Anna_Merlan
Anna_Merlan

Let's all work together not to put the words "Ralph Hall" and "form-fitting' in the same thought ever again, dude. Shudder. 

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

Ralph does have a point though. Without coal how are we going to fuel the Iron Horses that run from Dallas to Topeka loaded with sassafras and supplies for our brave pioneers as they venture forth into the Wild West? ... I also hear in certain circles that there are rivers out that way with nuggets of gold the size of a fist flowing down from the mountains.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

MAVDOG, I wanted to post this story for you.

 

"A vitally important and thoroughly documented new report on the impact of Obama's drone campaign has just been released by researchers at NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School. Entitled "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan", the report details the terrorizing effects of Obama's drone assaults as well as the numerous, highly misleading public statements from administration officials about that campaign. The study's purpose was to conduct an "independent investigations into whether, and to what extent, drone strikes in Pakistan conformed to international law and caused harm and/or injury to civilians".

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/25/study-obama-drone-deaths

TitusGroan
TitusGroan

The atheist left is behind it all.  They hate coal, because it's all they ever got in their stockings for Christmas.  War on Coal = War on Christmas.  Wheels within wheels....

RealityCheck
RealityCheck

"The war Hall speaks of exists solely in his own mind."

 

It also exists elsewhere unless you consider the 37% share that coal contributes to electricity generation a figment of Ralph's imagination.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

did you actually listen to the comments Obama made? or do you just not wish to understand the words?

 

The "bankrupting the coal industry"? no, he talks about if coal power generation puts pollution into the air, they will have a price paid that will bankrupt them if cap and trade is enacted.

 

you must have missed the part where he stated that we should pursue technology that will allow for coal to fuel power generation and not pollute our air. where Obama said he supports that initiative completely.

 

it is a war, a war on pollution. how anyone can not be 100% behind removing pollution from our air is a mystery.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @kergo1spaceship Don't forget Daniel E. Godwin of Godwin Ronquillo and the story behind the news ... I wonder if there is any room left in the courtroom when his ego enters?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

odd place to find you post I must say...was it the word "war" in the title?

 

did you read the actual report? or just greenwald's review?

 

first, a ton of holes in the report. they even made mistakes on stats in the pieces they reference.

 

did you see the article in today's WSJ on the administration's internal discussion on the legality of these drone strikes? long and short, yes, it is legal.

 

the drone campaign has been effective in reducing the personnel in both al queda and also the taliban. remember, those are the groups responsible for the conflict we're in. they attacked us, we are responding.

 

are there civilian casualties? without a doubt. is it possible to determine if a casualty is a civilian or a participant? no. the people operating the drone can't be 100% certain about that, nor can the researchers who made this report.

 

ask yourself this: are the al queda and taliban targets concerned about these civilians? clearly the answer is no. if they were concerned, they would not locate among true civilians, they would avoid involving civilians in the battle. instead they appear to do the exact opposite.

 

sorry, my opinion is we pursue these combatants wherever they are, strike them whenever we can. until they decide to stop their assault against us and lay down their weapons, they are legitimate targets. they continue to threaten our interests, our citizens, and we must continue to take the battle to them.

 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @TitusGroan I just knew that sooner or later, if I perused the comment section here at the DO long enough, I'd find enlightenment.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @TitusGroan No, atheists know that coal is old animals.  Atheists are all vegan, and they see coal as yet another carnivorous attitude.  Coal use probably increases testosterone levels.  That runs counter to the estrogen boost that atheists want us all to have, from soy milk, and a vegetarian diet.  Atheists want us all to be cuckhold pussies, so we'll denigrate the gene pool

StuFarqueue
StuFarqueue

 @scottindallas  @TitusGroan

Well in terms of being a cuckolded pussy, you've got the jump on most of us, so tell us what it is like.

 

You could simply pray to your big white Midian mountain god for salvation, but sadly he is as fanciful a fairy tale as your noxious opinions.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @StuFarqueue  @TitusGroan a cuckholded pussy responds one month after the fact, to no one at all.  kinda like licking up the mess other deposited for you.

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