You all know that I am old. I have never said that I wasn’t. So, let me tell you a little story. When I was a boy, we lived in a house on the South Side of Chicago. As I understood things, my mother’s father built the house and he and grandma lived there the rest of their lives. It had a second story with an apartment where we lived.
Later, my parents bought the house from my grandparents. Grandma and grandpa moved upstairs to the second-floor apartment and we moved into the main house.
There was one thing about the house. It needed a lot of work to bring it up to date including the heating. the house had a coal-fired furnace to heat the house in the winter. Therefore, we would get deliveries of coal to the house. They would drop the coal on the curb in front of the house.
When dad got home from work, he would put a plank of wood down and then shovel the coal into the wheel barrel and haul it to the “coal bin” in the front of the basement. Actually, we dumped it through a window in the coal bin.
Naturally, as children, we loved playing outside. When the coal was delivered, we loved playing on the coal pile. There was a lot of coal to play in. As you can guess, mom wasn’t very happy about how dirty we got playing on the coal pile, and we would usually “get it” for doing so but it was just too good to pass up.
We didn’t have the coal bin for long after my parents bought the house. They soon replaced the coal furnace with a gas heater. There went the coal piles, and there went all of our fun. But, it saved my family a ton of money and hard labor heating the house.
I bring this little tale up because yesterday, our beloved leader signed another executive order. Remember when Republicans hated executive orders? Well anyway, this one goes after the Clean Power rules and regulations. Our beloved leader claims this will “bring back the coal industry very quickly”. He is lying. He says that it “ends the war on coal”. He is lying. He says we will have “lots and lots of clean coal”. He is lying.
If he had said that it could possibly result in massive amounts of greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere and thus quickening climate change, he would be telling the truth. But the truth and trump only appears in the same sentence when you need to point out how much he lies.
The real “war on coal” is not being waged by the federal government or the EPA or any environmental groups. It is being waged by electric companies that want cheaper sources of fuel to create their electricity. The utility companies have discovered that natural gas is cheaper than coal. They also discovered that natural gas emits about half of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
As a result of this two-fisted discovery, utility companies like my parents did years ago, changed their coal furnaces to natural gas burners. And viola, cheaper and cleaner ways to make electricity.
Coal companies want this executive order more than coal miners. If anyone thinks that we will see thousands upon thousands of miners returning to the mines, think again. Like other industries like manufacturing, the mines will be mostly be filled with automation. There may be some miners returning to work, but not nearly enough and not the “thousands” trump has promised.
He also said he would look at “the EPA mileage requirements” for our cars. Under President Obama the EPA said that cars needed to double their gas mileage. Our beloved leader want to “review” those regulations. In Republican speak, that means kill it.
Who out there in our lovely land wants to have this regulation killed? Let me see a show of hands! I mean, who would not love to have a car that cuts their fuel costs in half? If you pay $30 per tank of gas everytime you fill up, and you fill up once a week, you would average $120 per month in gas costs for your car. Now double the gas mileage for your car.
When you double the gas mileage, you won’t need to fill up once per week. You would fill up just once every two weeks. So, if you pay $30 per tank of gas, and you fill up twice a month, your total cost would be $60 per month. Half of what you are paying now. That would mean a $720 per year savings in gasoline alone.
Then, we need to look at the real possibility that the price of gasoline would actually go down once every car had twice the mileage we currently have. That is basic capitalism principles of supply and demand. If we are demanding less gasoline, oil companies would have to cut prices to encourage us to drive more and buy more gasoline.
So, to answer my own question about who would not love to have a car that cuts their fuel costs in half? The answer is the oil companies. And, who does our beloved leader love more than he loves you? Oil companies.
The fastest growing area of our energy sector is clean energy. We continue to grow in solar power. We continue to grow in wind power. We continue to grow in tidal power. And, we continue to grow in geothermal power.
The best part of these clan power sources is that these are American Jobs that cannot be outsourced. Also, they are jobs that can be expanded because we can export the technology. It is a growing business, but it does rely on one thing. The tax incentives that were necessary to get the industry off the ground.
The biggest fear about the latest executive order is that the next one will probably go after the tax incentives for clean energy companies. That will help kill the real competition to big oil and coal companies. I don’t see any clean energy executives in trump’s administration, do you?
So, if you really want to look at what is going on and why we don’t need to rollback these regulations, you don’t even need to argue climate change. That is important, but Republicans don’t care about climate change. They only care about money and power.
So, when the coal jobs do not “magically” reappear because of this executive order, the miners will realize that trump lied to them and used them as puppets. And, when clean energy jobs start drying up after he cuts the tax reliefs for those companies, we will see a backlash there too.
This rollback of the Clean Power regulations is nothing less than a hoax and bad economic policies. It will hurt jobs and not create them. It will hurt our economy because once we kill our clean energy sector, countries like China, Germany, and others will fill the void and take control of that lucrative market. It will kill any possible savings in energy costs to the average person by not doubling the mileage in our automobiles.
So, you see, I sure wish that trump had been president when I was a boy. Maybe I wouldn’t have “gotten it” for playing in the coal piles in front of the house. I could have argued that it was “clean coal”. But, I don’t think mom would have bought the argument. See, mom isn’t stupid. She knows that there is no such thing as “clean coal”.
Our beloved leader knows it too. He just doesn’t care. He is willing to lie about anything and everything just to get people to “like” him. What a pathetic little boy he really is.
And, the shirts keep marching along.