The Climate-Safety Nexus on Coal - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Climate-Safety Nexus on Coal

Phil provided a nice reminder yesterday of how the Left tried to score political points against the Bush administration in 2006 after the Sago Mine disaster. As he noted, we are hearing no such outcry over the failures of the Obama administration after the current accident in West Virginia cost 25 lives. In fact, the formerly mainstream media and the Left are now doubling down on criticism by connecting two things that have nothing to do with one another: mine safety and global warming. The long knives are out for their classic corporate coal demon (and global warming skeptic) — the outspoken CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship — as the Washington Post reports:

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration cited the mine for 1,342 safety violations from 2005 through Monday for a total of $1.89 million in proposed fines, according to federal records. The company has contested 422 of those violations, totaling $742,830 in proposed penalties, according to federal officials.

Blankenship has called congressional Democrats seeking climate change legislation “greeniacs” and “all crazy.” He’s said, “I don’t believe that climate change is real,” and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) “don’t know what they’re talking about.” And in a video promoting a Labor Day music and political event last year, he said, “We’re going to have Hank Williams and a very good time, but we’re also going to learn how environmental extremists and corporate America are both trying to destroy your job.”

Nice transition from one paragraph to the next, huh? The clumsy point: coal is unsafe on all fronts, and therefore should be abandoned. Andrew Leonard of Salon has a piece up explaining “How to connect mining disasters and climate change:”

It’s no news to anyone that the mining industry has historically resisted regulatory efforts that would increase safety but potentially reduce profits. Massey, as one of the nation’s largest coal operators, is a flash point of concern for this classic dynamic, but no different in principle from any other corporation that cuts corners in pursuit of profit.

But what might be more interesting is to connect the dots between Massey’s safety record, and CEO Blankenship’s positions on energy policy and climate change.

Every smart liberal recognizes that evil energy CEOs work wonders for their bottom lines by intentionally ignoring safety. After all, as the Post reported, “News of the mine disaster pummeled the stock of Massey, the nation’s fourth largest coal company. At 1:30 p.m., the company’s stock was down more than 10 percent, erasing more than $400 million of market value.” Meanwhile all the new regulators hired in the wake of Sago were not able to prevent this week’s tragedy:

The 2006 MINER Act in the wake of the 2006 Sago Mine disaster bolstered the agency’s inspection staff and increased penalties for safety violations. The change in law has led to a higher number of citations and penalties and more challenges by companies, federal mine safety officials said.

Clearly the regulations and solutions initiated by the Left aren’t working, so it is time for them to stand on their principles and withdraw all their operations from where electricity is generated by coal-fired power. Multi-million dollar environmental activist groups must consolidate their offices and locate only where “green” energy is produced. It’s the only option that remains.

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