Monday, September 29, 2008

Geology gives Gore cover for outrageous coal comments

It's hard to tell when you cross into Tennessee from Virginia or Kentucky. The terrain looks the same; in fact you might not know you were crossing a state line without signage indicating so.

But where geography is similar, geology is vastly different. Kentucky and Virginia (and West Virginia and Pennsylvania, too) have been blessed with an abundance of a natural resource called coal. God has given this area of the country a tool by which people can earn decent livings, communities can prosper, and millions of his children can have creature comforts made possible by the burning of coal and the production of electricity.

Tennessee doesn't have the coal reserves of its neighbors to the north and sister states to the northeast. Families and communities in the Volunteer State don't depend on coal mining like they do elsewhere.

Because coal is such an insignificant part of Tennessee's economy, that gives former Vice President and Tennessee Sen. Al Gore plenty of cover with which to attack coal and coal mining in the name of cutting atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Gore's outrageous comments about how America must immediately cease burning coal for heating and electricity production may play well in the liberal enclaves where he utters them, but we think it's funny that Gore - and his ideological brother in arms Joe Biden -- won't come to the coalfields to pontificate on the evils of coal.

If Gore feels so strongly about this, he needs to come to places like Pikeville or Norton or Beckley and make those statements. Biden should campaign on that issue for his ticket with B. Hussein Obama in Hazard or Grundy or Logan and see how many votes he wins.

Coal feeds, clothes and educates people in the mountains. It provides them homes and cars and material goods. It pays for individual medical care and public works projects. In short, it fuels much of the economic activity in an impoverished part of the world. We shudder to think what the Central Appalachians would be like, from an economic standpoint, without the jobs and the income and the economic stimulus provided by coal mining.

Coal also allows all Kentuckians, not just those in the mountains, to enjoy some of the lowest electricity rates in the country. That's no small matter in this day and age of rising energy prices.

If Gore hailed from a coal-rich state, we seriously doubt if he'd be making his asinine comments.

And we can't let this commentary on Gore pass without chiding those liberal Kentucky flatlanders who continually rail against the coal mining industry. We wonder what they have against mountain folks that they want their economic well-being to suffer so. Perhaps these flatlanders don't realize just how important eastern Kentucky is to the economy of the Bluegrass region, and how Lexington's economy would dry up without coal money being spent in Fayette County.

In the name of saving us, liberals are actually trying to destroy us and our way of life. Take the coal industry out of Appalachia, and how many more anti-poverty programs would the left have to institute to combat the resulting economic collapse? We shudder to think of it. But if they have their way, it's coming, and sooner rather than later.

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