Category Archives: Democrats

An Opportunity for Clean Coal

People say there’s no such thing as clean coal, but there is a such a thing as cleaner coal. Coal gasification plants convert coal to gas, and emit much less carbon than regular coal plants. The Bush Administration made much of this—then permitted around 30 coal plants in the American West, none of which were gasification plants.

The rationale? Too expensive. These plants do cost more to build, and of course, that drives up the cost of power, which in turn drives up the cost of most everything else. Coal is one of the cheapest sources of electricity we have. In a recession, who wants to pay more for such a basic commodity?

But now we have a major opportunity to clean up our air, one the Obama Administration, the Democrats—and everyone else, really—might be hypocritical to miss.

As I mentioned in my last post, China, India, and other rapidly growing third-world economies are making a bid to buy U.S. coal. Which means coal prices are going up anyway. If that’s the case, why not say no to foreign buyers, build the gasification plants—build even more of them than we planned, and consume more of our own coal? Our own demand would compensate U.S. suppliers.

And then, while we’re generating all that extra capacity, why not hook it up to some factories to build some wind turbines and solar panels for the large-scale production we’re going to need not too far down the road?

U.S. consumers are going to take a hit in coal prices either way. We might as well channel that production domestically and gain the benefit of cleaner air and a direct investment in the coming switch.


A Dear John Letter to the Democrats

You’ve taken me for granted, haven’t you? Women have been a core constituency of yours and now we’re deserting you. Wondering what you did wrong? I heard you were telling yourself we wanted to spend more time with the girls—you know, Sarah Palin and the other cool chicks—but that’s ridiculous. We didn’t even like girls like her in school.

You and me, we never got married. I always stayed unaffiliated, but all the same, I never voted for anyone else. I never even dated anyone else. I’m not sure I’ve ever even slept with a Republican. It just didn’t sound like any fun.

So, I won’t be voting for them, even if you tell me it’s the same thing. But for the first time in my life, I don’t think I’ll actually be voting for many of you. I know, I know. I’ve heard all the arguments about opting out of democracy. I’ve even made them time and again. But I think I’m going to try celibacy for a while. Wake me up when it’s over.

Oh, you’re asking why? Well, you never call, you never write. Then, every six months or so, you send this slick, handsome guy to sweet talk me, on TV usually, or on a whirlwind tour though my state. He’s hot all right, and he says all the right things. But it’s always too little, too late, and (in)actions speak louder than words. Mom always said so, and you know what? She was right.

One thing I’ve noticed about you, and the same is true about the other party, is that you don’t know or care about the middle class. Oh, you get the poor, and you get the rich, but you don’t get me. When you talked about healthcare, you were all about insuring the poor. Don’t get me wrong, I think they need access to medical care, and I guess it’s all just as well, because by the time you get around to me, I’ll be among them anyway.

I just read that China and India will be buying up U.S. coal, and apparently you will allow this to happen. That means the cost of power will go up, which means the cost of everything will go up for middle-class people like me. Of course, I would like it if we didn’t need so much coal, but I can’t trust you to be effective at leading the switch to renewables. And anyway, we need our coal today in order to manufacture enough wind turbines and solar arrays to deliver our future power needs. I was expecting you to have started doing way more of that already, by the way. Selling off our coal advances neither economic nor environmental recovery, and it shows how little attention you are paying to anything.

You might not have been the one who got me into this mess, but you sure kicked me when I was down, and I’m not going to forgive you. I’m going to the polls, because I believe in voting, but I won’t be voting for most of the mainline candidates.

I saw an ad from recently from the Democratic party with a bunch of people saying how they “just can’t” vote for a Republican senatorial candidate in Colorado. Neither can I. But I just can’t support you, either.

I can’t stand being taken for granted.