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Economics trumps environment

Published 9:48am Tuesday, August 5, 2014

If you only get your news from the mainstream media you probably surmise that the global coal industry is in terminal decline.

If you look between the rhetoric and the bloviating you get a totally different picture. Truth be known, the world demand for coal is increasing.

Coal has begun its long, slow climb out of a self-inflicted, deep slump caused by overproduction and low prices.

Coal will soon surpass oil as the largest global energy source.

More than 70 percent of the electricity in China and India comes from coal-fired power plants.

India is pushing ahead as rapidly as possible with its expansion of coal-fired power generating capacity.

Coal is the biggest fuel source for electricity in the UK. Coal produced 42.8 percent of the electricity in 2012, and 40.7 percent in 2013; a rather startling rise from 2011, when it provided only 30 percent.

The German use of coal to generate electricity is the highest it has been since the 1990s.

On July 17 the Australian Senate voted to repeal their carbon tax. The tax was devised to penalize the largest producers of carbon emissions.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made repealing the carbon tax a central pledge of his election campaign. He argued that repealing the tax would reduce the cost of electricity and enhance economic growth.

After the tax was repealed Abbott characterized the tax as a “useless, destructive tax, which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment.”

Australia is the first country in the world to reverse action on climate change. Other countries have backed-off from carbon reduction targets, but Australia is the first to repeal an active carbon tax program.

In the May issue of “Coal People” Magazine Joseph Best, president of the Heartland Institute, referred to the new regulations that Obama, the Democrats and the EPA are trying to enact on the American people, as “Obamacare for the Environment.”

Best went on to say, “The proposed rules on electric power plants would cost approximately $51 billion a year and destroy 224,000 jobs a year through 2030.

“The EPA’s new global warming rules are based on junk science and would have no impact at all on the global climate.”

There is no empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.

The Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years and there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it.

We all care about the environment, but not at the expense of reducing our economic well-being. Certainly not with regulations that have absolutely no beneficial impact whatsoever on the global climate.

We are witnessing the regulatory death of our nation, coming straight out of the Oval Office of the White House.

Thank God exposure of the politically generated global warming myth is starting to gain momentum as it circles the world.


Joseph P. Smith is the owner of Pyro-Chem Corporation in South Point and has worked in the energy industry for more than three decades. He can be reached by email at

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  • Shaggy Dogg

    Mr. Smith…. Your comments biweekly speaks more than what you do. It tells me you are locked in and desperate in your current industry. Oh… If we all could go back and do it over again. Had you been fortunate enough to land a job with big electric, Nuclear, Solar Energy and so on, you would be continually “bloviating” as you said, about the perilous ruins and remains of King Coal. It bought politicians, which bought EPA influence, which now has bought the taxpayer a lifetime of expenses of cleaning up their mess. America totally retooled to fit the coal wealth. Now, as in my town, Ironton, Ohio, its all gone but the cleanup and regrouping for the next big thing.They do a good job but it’s not cheap. I remember a drive to Gallipollis was like going back in time. It looked then like a war zone in the middle east does now. Thank God we are moving on.

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  • mickakers

    Joseph P. Smith; As a PS: The American people as a whole, owe a depth of gratitude to the EPA and it’s regulations curtailing the runaway greed exhibited by the Coal and Oil industries and their disregard for the environment and people.

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  • mickakers

    Joseph P. Smith; I was beginning to worry about you and wondering if and when your next article was forthcoming. I look forward to them like most people look forward to the Sunday Comics. I must agree (sadly) with you and the title of your article “Economics trumps environment”. Greed has the tendency to corrupt decisions and moral standards, like care of the environment and its peoples. You and your opinions call to mind the Coal Barons of times past who’s primary concern was profit with complete disregard for the environment and the people. Your articles are addressed to the less educated, those who fail to understand the disastrous effects the Coal and Oil industries have perpetuated on the peoples and their environment. The people today are much better educated than they were in the 19th and early 20th centuries and see thru your sophisticated propaganda. For the betterment of your education, may I suggest a more in depth study of Global Warming to overcome your bias. May I also suggest a broadening of your reading habits which appear to be centered on Coal and Oil industry supportive publications.

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