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Pro-Coal Rally In Colorado Reveals Fear Of Clean Energy

Pro-Coal Rally In Colorado Reveals Fear Of Clean Energy

Today, coal miners and their families will gather at the state capitol building in Denver to urge the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to reject plans to replace coal in the electric generating mix.

The state of Colorado is considering a proposal that would mandate a switch from coal to natural gas for the bulk of its energy needs, but pro-coal organizations are using every deceptive tactic in their arsenal to delay this change.

Knowing they can’t deny evidence that fossil fuels are finite, more costly in the long term, and detrimental to human health the environment, the Colorado Mining Association has decided to focus on the short-term consequences.

The organization claims that if utility companies are allowed to proceed with the emissions-reduction plan outlined in the ‘Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act’, it will raise electricity rates, reduce the gross state product and put thousands of Coloradans out of work.

Growing Pains

No one has ever said that the transition to a clean energy economy would be easy. It will be uncomfortable, and many Americans will have to make sacrifices for which they might not be prepared. However, ignoring the signs of a dying industry will only prolong the inevitable.

Instead of trying to trap coal miners in a business that has no future, the Colorado Mining Association should start investing in their re-education so that these dedicated workers can pursue new careers in renewable energy.

But that would mean Big Coal would have acknowlege that people are more important that profit; somethine they’re not likely to admit any time soon.

As Bob Berwyn of Summit County Voice wrote, “The switch would reduce the demand for Colorado coal, costing the companies that mine the stuff millions of dollars in profits. According to the Colorado Mining Association, the switch to gas would result in a 4-million-ton hit to the industry, and [pro-coal analysts say] say that it wouldn’t be possible to sell that coal to other markets, as overall demand for coal declines.”

Renewable Energy = Resilient Economy

While pro-coal organizations scramble for pity, Colorado and many other states are slowly realizing that a switch to renewable energy is the only way to create economic security for the long term.

Aside from the environmental benefits that will result from phasing out the coal industry, America will finally be able to reap the economic benefits of the wind, solar, natural gas, and geothermal industries, which have been growing rapidly in other countries.

If the United States is ever to regain its position as an economic power in this world, the time to change is NOW- not after another round of bureaucratic deliberation or ten more years of destructive coal mining.

Coal miners worried about the future of their families need to realize that the only way to achieve true job security is to get behind renewable energy and support a cleaner future.

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Image Credit: Adam Shake - Twilight Earth

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46 comments

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8:02PM PST on Jan 19, 2011

We are in this environmental mess due to short sightedness and greed.
Someone has to make the first steps toward solutions.
This will change the profits for the "old" energy suppliers, a lot.

If they had vision, they would have been investing in clean, renewable energy sources and training their employees toward that end.

I remember our solution to the gas crisis of the 70's.... SUV's and Hummers.

8:08AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY ARE THE FUTURE!!

7:31AM PST on Jan 19, 2011

hoping the beloved state of Colorado will blaze this path for the nation. don't give into the pressure of special (limited) interest groups

6:12AM PST on Dec 25, 2010

This feels like an opinion piece, but I don't mind it at all. There are important points here for us to consider. We have option 1: dirty coal, or option 2: dirty gas. or option 3 solar or some other renewable source of energy.

We are slow and need to get going. The thing slowing us down the most is money. I realize that for many of us change is painful, for others its okay as long as they don't have to create it.

We will have to find innovative ways to make the switch. Why not use federal education dollars to re-educate coal and gas workers in the ways of a sustainable energy source?

3:39PM PDT on Sep 28, 2010

A cloud is bluring their minds! off course we do need clean energy... what is gonna be left to our kids? A cloud?

8:54AM PDT on Sep 28, 2010

Miners...find another line of work. In time the earth will become inhabitable if we continue as is.

6:54AM PDT on Sep 28, 2010

I agree with Tom Booth. Coal, oil, fracking are all dirty. Look skyward for the sun and the wind.

7:52PM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

Its really not a matter of intellect. There are other means of energy rather than moving onto another and charge out the yang for it, instead help improve ideas for it and work on things that would cost us our lifestyles(yours and mine) so we can move forward.
We have over the years lost alot of men an women world wide but for now the coal industry brings a majority of light to the world. I understand its the lesser of two evils but, when has coal critically damage an ecosystem like the Gulf of Mexico, blown up neighborhoods like California or in some areas near Natrual Gas rigs people cannot use the water from their wells because the gas seeped into the water table from the "fragging" process. Sometimes there needs to be a "good" bad guy for things be set in motion.
I am a proud coal miner and gladly want change but not at the cost of our Countries jobs and economy.

1:07PM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

Anything in or below the ground should not be considered natural.. coal, oil, gas
all very short sighted energy plans.. We have the technology now to use the sun to create enough energy to run the world 5 times over-- It is again all about money and who is getting it... Our climate problems have been solved. They are being prevented from being initiated out of greed. Lobbist and elected officials have nothing to gain from this

11:05AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

the only constant in this world is CHANGE. horse and buggies became cars, the 8 track cassette morphed into the ipod. if you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. that's life. coal miners are not the only people who are in danger of losing their jobs. many people have already lost them. let's stop outsourcing American jobs and create Green Forward jobs for this new generation and new GREEN world we must forge for our survival.

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