Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fascists, I Tell You

The coal industry wants billions of your dollars to make you dependent on liquefied coal fuel – which is dirtier than gasoline.

Edmund L. Andrews (from the New York Times) has reported:

Among the proposed inducements winding through House and Senate committees: loan guarantees for six to 10 major coal-to-liquid plants, each likely to cost at least $3 billion; a tax credit of 51 cents for every gallon of coal-based fuel sold through 2020; automatic subsidies if oil prices drop below $40 a barrel; and permission for the Air Force to sign 25-year contracts for almost a billion gallons a year of coal-based jet fuel.” (before we even know if this coal liquification process will work)

Let's face it. The people behind the coal industry are acting like neo-fascists. They might prefer to be called capitalists, but they have no intentions whatsoever of competing in an open market, on a level playing field. They have schemed to get as much corporate welfare as they can get. That would make them at least socialists. But true socialists would want socialism for everyone. No. They want special treatment only for themselves – as much as they can get, and screw everyone else. That sounds like what fascists would do.

The coal industry has been willing to corrupt our political system for their own profit. That sounds like what fascists would do. The coal industry has underhandedly pushed unfair competition (with sustainable energy) for decades. That sounds like what fascists would do. The coal industry even seems willing to condemn scores of innocent people to death (from pollution and global warming) for their own short-term profits. To me, that sounds like a maniacal group of quasi-murderous fascists. They do not look like Nazis. In fact, they do all they can to appear otherwise. It seems they want us to believe that they have our best interests in mind – while they do everything they can to poison our future – with our own tax money.

Since 1950, the US coal industry has received $80 BILLION in subsidies, tax breaks, and other forms of favoritism and corporate welfare. EPA consultants estimate that 24,000 people a year die an average of 14 years prematurely in the U.S. from coal smog. Do the math. That's well over a million people in the U.S. who have breathed coal polluted air and died. The Nazis gassed their own citizens for selfish reasons – and for the claimed good of the country. Why should we see the coal industry as that much different?

At one time, Americans may have believed that polluted air was just the price of progress. But we now have safer, cleaner, and less environmentally catastrophic options; wind, geothermal, wave, tidal, and solar. Sure, they might be a little more expensive in the short run. But, if you are not willing to pay that difference now; not only will you effectively be a neo-fascist sympathizer... your reward will be that your costs will be far higher in the future. Do you really expect the price of liquid coal fuel to be cheap? They will charge what the market will bear. That's why the coal industry wants to do this. It seems they can't afford to do what is right. So instead, they want a piece of the oil companies' multi-billion dollar profits.

I have to ask myself sometimes; Why should doing the right thing be so hard to do?

  • We could blame this all on our economic system. Acquiring huge sums of money should never be so important that everyone endures less healthy lives. It should never be inherently too expensive to do what is right – because of our economic system. That's why we have governments; to set standards.

  • We could lay much of the blame on corporations; which have essentially become far too efficient machines at converting everything of any real value into money. That's also why we have governments; to set limits.

  • But ultimately, we have to blame those who run our system – and ourselves. We didn't ask to subsidize the coal industry. But enough of us can stop it.

Tell others.

Write your Senators and Congressmen.



alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dortiz said...

I am so glad that you wrote this one. I really do admire how you express yourself on important issues. I feel your passion when reading your material as I hope others will.

wolfy said...

If it were a viable venture it wouldn't need subsidies. Why won't the govt subsidize alt energy at the same level?