Bush's Energy Plan Will Sacrifice WV Hills
by Vivian Stockman
On a bright sunny Tuesday morning, dozens of representatives of state environmental groups assembled along President Bushs motorcade route to protest the proposed Bush-Enron energy policy. That policy subsidizes (in billions $$) the Clean Coal lie and has grave ramifications for West Virginias still-standing coal-bearing mountains.
We picketers at the Jan. 22 event represented not only our groups members,
but also the 9 out of 10 Americans who favor alternative energy methods to solve
shortages. (Gallup Poll, Nov. 27,
An energy task force made up of political donors and/or business executives wrote the energy plan during closed-door meetings. The plan smells so bad, the General Accounting Office has demanded to see the meetings records. Vice President Dick Cheney wont hand those over, and the GAO is considering suing the Bush administration.
Getting the message out about Bush's plan are, from right, Vivian Stockman, Mike Forman and Dianne
Bady, among others, by pointing out that West Virginia will become "America's Energy Sacrifice Zone."
Apparently believing that Americans are so ga-ga over his War on Terrorism he can get away with anything, Bush says his energy policy is all about National Security and Jobs.
But his visit was obviously a taxpayer funded cheerleading session for Coal and Capito, at taxpayer expense. The cost for all the security surrounding his visit must have been huge - his motorcade is so long, so full of gas-guzzlers, we could surely cut our dependence on foreign oil, thus boosting National Security, if he would only stay home. And did Bush's advisors study at Orwell U.? Jobs?
Decades ago, there were over 100,000 miners. Now there are about 16,000, despite record coal production. Bush visited a factory here that makes mountaintop removal equipment, touting more jobs - yet this equipment has thrown thousands of miners out of work.
National Security? Plu-eeze. Whats secure about tearing down the mountains, fouling the air and water, pumping mercury into the air and ultimately into our bodies?
Clean Coal? Read my lips: There is no such thing as clean coal.
From extraction (mountaintop removal, black lung, acid mine drainage, abandoned mine lines, longwall mining, etc.), to processing (coal dust, sludge impoundments), to transportation (coal dust, dangerous overweight coal trucks and damaged infrastructure), to burning (global warming, acid rain, rising asthma rates, increasing learning disabilities), to disposal of the ash (even if clean coal technologies do manage to remove some of the coal combustion pollutants from the air, what happens to the pollutant-laden ash - it eventually makes its way into groundwater), there is no such thing as clean coal.
Its likely the Prez didnt even see us picketers as his motorcade passed. Two limo's broke out of the motorcade line, practically buzzed us, keeping the presidents limo on the inside, shielding him from DANGER: A different point of view.
Rick Eades puts his own spin on mountaintop removal mining for President Bush's visit.
No matter. The Bush-Enron plan is a plan to keep Fat Cats wallets fat, at great peril to current and future generations. The Bush-Enron energy plan is in for a battle. Though the House has passed an ecocidal plan, Senate Democrats are balking. Perhaps they recognize that the rest of the world is galloping towards that new energy economy, embracing cleaner alternative energy in a big way.
Perhaps the Senate can craft an energy policy thats a type of Marshall Plan for alternative energy, with its true promise of jobs, tax revenue, revitalized local economies. An energy policy that lets us keep the lights on and keep the mountains - what a concept!
Governor Wises own Energy Task Force can come up with a similar energy plan - one that recognizes the true toll from King Coal, begins to wean our state off coal, and moves us into the new energy economy.
The air's not all that great in her town thanks to King Coal, and Pauline Canterbury wants to make sure George Bush knows it!