Let us face facts: Coal kills. Simple, straightforward, clear.
Coal has been a mainstay of the industrial economy for more than a century and provides a large share of the world’s electricity. That electricity, that contribution to the industrial economy has brought about some tremendous things. But, for the 21st century and beyond, coal is no longer the necessity it once was, other options exist. And, we now know far more about the costs of burning coal than before: acid rain, mining destruction, health impacts, mercurty pollution, and that pesky little thing called Global Warming. Coal has had its day (actually decades), but that day has past as we now know with every growing clarity: COAL KILLS.
Recent news provides another way that Coal Kills: a Republican politician’s slavish devotion to the promotion of polluting coal electricity looks to have killed his career.
Something has been going right in the State of Kansas: Governor Kathleen Sibelius has been fighting for a lower polluting future, fighting against polluting industry efforts to build new coal-fired electricity plants that will contribute to Global Warming while, almost certainly, increasing the electricity costs for Kansans for decades to come. Sibelius is fighting against that lose-lose proposition.
On the other side, are people like Republican Speaker of the Kansan House of Representatives Melvin Neufield. As per the KC Star’s political commentator Steve Kraske,
“You’ve probably never heard of Melvin Neufeld, but there’s one thing you might want to know about the Kansas House speaker: He goes well with jam.
In the recent legislative session, Neufield placed “passage of the twin 700-megawatt coal-fired power plants near Holcomb ahead of everything else.” And, he lost. As Kraske comments,
Never mind if you care about immigration or health-care reform or an improved social safety net.
It was coal, coal, coal, or it was the shaft.
And, Kansans got the shaft from Neufield as he couldn’t force through an override of Sebelius to force a lose-lose proposition on the citizens of Kansas and the globe when it came to the coal plants. He lost that one but, like a spoiled child who takes the ball home when losing, Neufield blocked other important legislation from moving forward.
Neufield’s fellow Republicans are sharpening their knives, looking to unseat him and take the job following his dismal performance in this year’s legislative session.
Yup, another way that coal kills. In this case, slavish devotion to coal looks to have killed a Republican politician’s career aspirations.