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How One Coal Baron Set an Entire Administration’s Energy Agenda


How One Coal Baron Set an Entire Administration’s Energy Agenda

Basav Sen
In a political system awash with money, it's Big Coal vs. democracy.
"The White House is trying to get rid of the Clean Power Plan, the prior administration’s most significant effort to regulate greenhouse gases." (Photo: Ingy The Wingy / Flickr)


“Money equals speech.”
—SCOTUS, in re Buckley v. Valeo

“Money doesn’t talk, it swears/”
—Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”


Yup, right now, the entire energy and environmental policy of the USA, through agencies that employ tens of thousands of people - the DOE, the EPA, the DOL and the Interior Dept. is being run specifically to benefit the fortunes of maybe five or six coal/oil billionaires . And Bob Murray is the most important and influential one.



Good one Goat.


Have you seen any of the disgusting ads yet for Don Blankenship’s bid to replace Manchin? He’s painting himself as some sort of modern day Messiah, but the son of a bitch should be in a federal penitentiary for willfully negligent criminal homicide.

And the mine disaster that got him a slap on the wrist was not his first conviction in court. Years ago his company was under contract to deliver metallurgical coal to the coke plant in Follansbee, WV, but he got an offer of a higher price from a Chinese firm and diverted what had been mined and intended for Follansbee to the Chinese. The plant shut down, workers were furloughed. Yet past PR campaigns intended to “clean up his image” showed him standing tall, with hand over heart, in front of a waving American flag. Enough to make you puke, and yet there is a possibility the slimeball will end up in the US Senate.


Isn’t that dog-bites-man news? In my experience at least, I’ve found that the system selects for slimeballs.


I was going to add, at the end of that sentence “but he’ll be in familiar company.” Was pretty sure someone else would complete the thought.


How is the DOE being run to benefit the fortunes of the coal industry?


Using a stock photo can be misleading; the steam locomotive in your header pic is a British-built ‘Austerity’ saddletank - widely used in Brit collieries (when there were some) but in the US? Probably not so much.


To A Constitutional purist, it would seem that this article undeniably points the way for legal impeachment proceedings-He took A bribe and in return he did all of this rotten stuff to pay back the bribe- NOT so…

Was there ever A Presidency in America that this devious behavior would have been outlawed or not allowed to happen or led to impeachment proceedings? I honestly don’t think so…


Thanks, I didn’t know about that coke plant incident. Was that a US Steel plant? The Clairton Coke Plant is still running like gangbusters - not that it helps the town of poor Clairton - increasingly populated by poor and largely black people driven out of Pittsburgh by the yuppie gentrification. All (mostly white) union workers at the plant commute in from the outlying Trump country of Westmoreland county.

and I had to look up where Folansbee is - as close to home as it is, there is nothing that has ever taken me to the Steubenville/Weirton area - only further south around Wheeling and Moundsville.


And despite Trump’s efforts, demand for coal dropped again last year, both domestically and worldwide.


Really? $300,000? Is that all it took to set our country and our planet on a path to environmental destruction? What a bargain!


Best “democracy” money can buy indeed.