Environment

McConnell Admits Coal is Probably Dead

mcconnellthumbsdown
JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The words exited Mitch McConnell's mouth two weeks ago shortly after the election, but I'm sharing them today because it greatly amuses me.

During an appearance at the University of Louisville, the Senate majority leader subtly admitted that ending President Obama's so-called "war on coal" will not actually bring back coal jobs or the coal industry.

Moreover, and much to my amusement, McConnell also said he is not willing to spend money to help people who've lost their jobs.

In a [November 11th] appearance at the University of Louisville, he tamped down any expectations that coal jobs would come back. “We are going to be presenting to the new president a variety of options that could end this assault,” McConnell told attendees. Then he added “Whether that immediately brings business back is hard to tell because it’s a private sector activity.

McConnell also noted that he did not intend to spend any government dollars to help those who have lost coal jobs and may not regain them. “A government spending program is not likely to solve the fundamental problem of growth,” McConnell argued. “I support the effort to help these coal counties wherever we can but that isn’t going to replace whatever was there when we had a vibrant coal industry.

For McConnell to tell his constituents in Kentucky that the jobs probably aren't coming back and that he won't lift a finger to help those who've lost jobs is especially amusing to me because Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton actually did pledge to spend money to help them. Clinton proposed spending billion of dollars to assist and retrain workers who've been displaced throughout Appalachia and coal country.

I don't particularly delight in the plight of others, but voters had a choice to make and they chose the party and candidates who pledged to fuck them over for the umpteenth time. They also voted for the party and candidates who pledged to take away their healthcare, but that's another topic.

The so-called "war on coal" doesn't actually exist so, naturally, ending a thing that never existed won't bring jobs back. It's true the Obama administration drafted new regulations that would force ancient coal-fired power plants to clean up their act, but those regulations have been tied up in court since before the regulations were even finalized and published. Very few new regulations have actually made it into law to be enforced.

The force that is really responsible for the demise of coal is actually the Infallible, Revered, Holy, Supreme, Invisible Guiding Hand of the Free Market.

Market forces have driven coal toward ruin in America, not regulations or a "war on coal." Mitch McConnell evidently knows this, but telling voters that you're going to end Obama's war against them sounds sexy.

Green energy sources such as solar and wind have already become cheaper than coal and global demand for coal has decreased.

  • Badgerite

    If there is any bright spot environmentally to this election outcome it is that alternative energy has probably already his a critical mass in the market place where old technologies like coal are just less efficient and more expensive. Alternative methods of energy production are fasting reaching a point where the market will decide in their favor.

  • muselet

    What a slimy little creature is Mitch McConnell.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    Yeah I feel terrible that the coal industry won’t be contributing to climate change, dirty air, archaic technology, black lung disease, mountain top removal, and mercury laced water.

    It is awful that these people were so short sighted as to contribute to their own demise by working for an insidious industry and voting for a candidate that could not care less about them over one that did.

    Time for them them to embrace that good ol rugged American individualism and pick themselves up by their boot straps. Hop-to-to!

    Side note: I actually do feel bad for these people but it’s hard to not look at them like “how did you not see this coming, dumbass?!”

    • Ceoltoir

      It’s always amusing to hear conservative fuckwits talk about people “lifting themselves up by their bootstraps” quoting Heratio Alger who’s work reads like thinly veiled homoeroticism.

  • Aynwrong

    I hate to be smug but let’s face it, voters in Kentucky deserve the loudest “I TOLD YOU SO!!!…” in history.

    • Scopedog

      Not just them, but voters in Kansas as well.

    • ninjaf

      I never understood why Democrats don’t go into coal country (and other areas like it) and advocate for tax incentives to bring manufacturing of green power materials like wind turbines and solar cells to the area. Bring another energy sector to their doors and they would likely jump on board. They may be deliberately stupid on the ability of coal to continue to provide jobs for them but they aren’t ignorant when they see the “Help Wanted” signs put out. Telling them we want to “re-train” them when they chose coal over education originally isn’t going to win anyone over. Tell them they can stay just as stupid as they choose to be, earn a livable wage, and stop killing the planet at the same time might just be a winning strategy.

      Also, Mitch McConnel is a special kind of asshat. He is willing to sell his own constituents out for nothing more than his own ability to stay employed by the government he claims to hate so much (and all of the perks that come with that). I wish I believed in Hell because it would be nice to think he would get his comeuppance.

  • Groundloop

    “Green energy sources such as solar and wind have already become cheaper than coal…”

    Maybe so, but there’s still no point in investing in the retraining of out of work coal and oil industry workers. We’ll eventually run out of solar and wind power anyway, amirite? Just wait until the tree hugging libtards start whining about “Peak Solar” and “Peak Wind”.

    /sarcasm

    BTW, good to have you back JM.