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Buy Low, Sell Never: Why Not Just Buy the Entire Coal Industry?


Buy Low, Sell Never: Why Not Just Buy the Entire Coal Industry?

Mark Trahant

I recently drove across the West, mostly on two-lane roads and through towns where campaign signs aren’t about a candidate but a mineral. “Coal Keeps The Lights On,” says a sign repeated throughout northwestern Colorado. That same idea is found at the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana or in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

Coal is not on the ballot, but many in the rural West want it to be. And some, especially Republicans, are eager to oblige, claiming that it’s an Obama-led war on coal that’s destroying jobs and forcing coal companies into bankruptcy.


Until humans learn to think about humans, whales, microorganisms, along with everything in between, all life on this planet is screwed.


The author IS thinking of that as are thousands, if not millions of others. The challenge is to gain the power to implement change when it's largely the energy behemoths that purchase the Lawmakers who oppose putting any restrictions on their energy investments. The rest of humanity & nature pay the price for THAT stop-gap to Democratic processes.


This article contains a glaring contradiction. The author claims that the coal industry is dead - a zombie - yet argues that you and me, through our tax dollars, should weave a golden parachute for those that own vast coal reserves. If it is indeed kaput, then why should we soften the landing for those that have amassed great wealth from the exploitation of coal? Really dead, and not just merely dead, it stays there no matter who owns it - right? And there's the rub; it is not hardly dead, and the money behind the signs the author alluded to buys many a congress-critter who are "a friend of coal."

Since it is not really dead, then maybe it makes sense to officially sequester these reserves. So, at what price will you and I be on the hook for as we embark on this national protection racket? Something comparable to what was originally paid to farmers and ranchers during one of the many recessions of the 1800's? Something similar to the takeover of the reserves of small operators by larger ones? Or will it be based on the expected profit the large coal-holders feel entitled to at todays prices? Hmmm, that sounds awfully familiar - as in ISDS. Will there be any correction downward in the "value" of these reserves prompted by the awareness of the harm caused and the mitigation then required by burning the stuff? Not so long as climate change remains officially a "hoax" or, ahem - controversial.

I'm sorry Mr. Trahant, but if coal is really dead, then let those that have profited most from it (hint - that would NOT be the lowly miners) die along with it. No f#$%&#$g taxpayer bail-out.


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Buy the coal industry but subtract the environmental costs to date from the price.