Is Law Enforcement Finally Going To Get Don Blankenship – I hope so

This man was a union busting, kill people no matter what, demonic money grubber. Now maybe we can add jailed inmate to that list.

The Fall of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship

Do you know who Don Blankenship is? You should.

The era of Don Blankenship has come to an end. Don Blankenship, now former CEO of the sixth largest coal extraction company in the United States was one of the most hated men in the energy industry. Mr. Blankenship was an undoubtedly successful businessman, but also a highly controversial and hated public figure. His time spent at the head of Massey energy saw the company rise from a small coal mining operation to the most powerful energy company in Appalachia. He also rose from an office accountant to the highest paid coal company CEO in the United States.


That can’t happen soon enough. He is of course is going to try to blame mine management. Just like the old buffoon in Utah.


December 6, 2011
UBB family members want justice, not money

By Kate White

BEAVER — Family members of the 29 miners killed in the worst mining disaster in the United States in nearly 40 years say they want justice more than money.

“You can’t put a dollar amount on my husband. I want to see who is going to be indicted next,” said Gina Jones, 39, of Beckley. “I was there when they found [Hughie Elbert] Stover guilty and I’ll be there for the next.”

Family members gathered Tuesday at MSHA’s training academy to be briefed on the agency’s final report on the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine in April 2010 that killed 29 miners and severely injured two others. They were also advised that officials have agreed to accept $200 million in fines, victim restitution and mine safety improvements to settle enforcement actions and some criminal matters. However, some individuals may still face criminal prosecution

Hughie Elbert Stover, a former Raleigh County deputy and longtime security director at Upper Big Branch, was found guilty of two felony counts of making a false statement and trying to cover up records in a federal investigation.

“We want those responsible all taken away from their families like what has happened to us,” said Jones, whose husband Edward Dean Jones was killed in the explosion.

Other family members echoed her sentiments.

“It’s just beginning. We’ve only just gotten the information, the future is ahead and this isn’t ending anytime soon,” said Judy Jones Petersen of Charleston. Edward Dean Jones, who had worked in the Performance Coal


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Howard Fineman And Energy Policy – The right wing loves coal

The Left wing hates coal.

Obama’s energy challenge is coal, not oil

45 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants

By Howard Fineman
updated 4/14/2010 10:09:22 AM ET 2010-04-14T14:09:22

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama touched off a new environmental skirmish with his decision to open vast new areas of the American coastline to offshore oil drilling. But as loud as that battle is going to get, it is nothing compared with the real energy war to come.

I speak, of course, of the Coal War.

Forget whatever else you hear about energy policy, the real fight — and the real political problem — this year in Congress will be how to deal with our nagging reliance on the most abundant component of our carbon-based patrimony.

We can talk until we’re blue in the face about offshore drilling, wind power, natural gas, and energy conservation … but the short-term drift of history still dictates a heavy reliance on the dirtiest and deadliest of all fuels: coal.

The big question in the energy bill — if there is one — is how and whether Congress will ask the American people to pay for the cost of controlling the environmental consequences of that reliance.

At its core, the president’s energy vision calls for switching our transportation system from oil to plug-in electricity. But 45 percent of all electricity in the country is still generated by coal-fired power plants. In other words, we run the real risk of merely replacing one polluting and increasingly scarce fuel, petroleum, with an abundant but even more environmentally troublesome one, coal.

An energy bill that, among other things, would tax pollution caused by burning fossil fuels was passed by the House last year. It’s gotten nowhere in the Senate. Obama’s drilling announcement was designed to get the Senate’s attention — and garner some Republican support.

But opening up offshore drilling prospects is politically, the easy part. I think the president can get that piece of the puzzle.

The hard part is going to be convincing senators from coal-producing and/or electricity-exporting states to go along with any sort of carbon tax.

States with power plants that generate electricity from coal read like a roster of presidential swing states. Among them: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri and North Carolina. And other states with major coal commitments include: Georgia, Arizona, Kentucky and Wyoming.

Getting 60 votes for some kind of carbon-pollution tax, even if it’s in the most attenuated “cap-and-trade” form, will be next to impossible.


Go read the rest. It is pretty good. Everyone have a great weekend. More next week.


Michael Barone And Energy Policy – We are addicted to coal so get over it

Apparently Mike Barone believes the tautology that we use a lot of coal now, so we always will. He believes that politicians are gutless when it comes to environmental damage. We shall see.

Michael Barone

Obama Cap-and-Trade Will Meet Coal-Fired Energy Political Opposition

By Michael Barone

Posted: March 25, 2009

By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Bill Galston at the New Republics blog provides some clear thinking on the prospects for the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade legislation. His conclusion: ain’t gonna happen. Galston notes that national polls show that on the question of balancing economic against environmental considerations, voters have switched and are now more concerned about the economy—as in holding down utility costs—and less concerned about the environment.

And, as Galston points out, a cap-and-trade system would substantially increase the price of electricity produced by coal. Nationally, we get 49 percent of our energy by coal (these are 2006 figures, from the 2009 Statistical Abstract of the United States), but reliance on coal varies widely by state. The following table may help you to understand the political implications. It shows the percentage of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average and the number of Democratic senators and representatives from each of those states.

% of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average senators representatives
Alabama 55 0 2
Colorado 71 2 5
Delaware 69 2 0
Georgia 63 0 6
Indiana 95 1 5
Iowa 76 1 3
Kansas 73 0 1
Kentucky 92 0 2
Maryland 60 2 7
Michigan 60 2 8
Minnesota 62 1 5
Missouri 84 1 4
Montana 60 2 0
Nebraska 65 1 0
New Mexico 80 2 3
North Carolina 60 1 8
North Dakota 93 2 1
Ohio 86 1 10
Oklahoma 50 0 1
Pennsylvania 56 1 12
Tennessee 65 0 5
Utah 89 0 1
West Virginia 97 2 2
Wisconsin 65 2 5
Wyoming 94 0 0
TOTAL 26 96

Do the math. That leaves only 32 Democratic senators from less-than-average coal-reliant states and only 157 Democratic House members from less-than-average coal-reliant states. Now I’m not saying that every member from such states will vote against cap-and-trade, but I think an awful lot would. And I don’t think many Republicans are going to vote for cap-and-trade. In his press conference last night, Barack Obama seemed to accept the Senate Budget Committee’s Democrats’ decision to jettison the money for cap-and-trade and expressed a wistful hope that something might be done later. But even in better economic times, the numbers tend to work against any such proposal.


More tomorrow.


George Will And Our Energy Future – It’s boatloads of coal

Can you imagine a world where not only are there oil and natural gas supertankers circling the globe but coal supertankers too? George Will can. Wonder who pays this guys paycheck?

King coal’s staying power now and into the future

Washington Post

Jan. 1, 2011, 4:03PM

Cowlitz County in Washington state is across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., which promotes mass transit and urban density and is a green reproach to the rest of us. Recently, Cowlitz did something that might make Portland wonder whether shrinking its carbon footprint matters. Cowlitz approved construction of a coal export terminal from which millions of tons of U.S. coal could be shipped to Asia annually.

Both Oregon and Washington are curtailing the coal-fired generation of electricity, but the future looks to greens as black as coal. The future looks a lot like the past.

Historian William Rosen (The Most Powerful Idea in the World, about the invention of the steam engine) says coal was Europe’s answer to the 12th-century “wood crisis” when Christians leveled much forestation in order to destroy sanctuaries for pagan worship, and to open farmland. Population increase meant more wooden carts, houses and ships, so wood became an expensive way to heat dwellings or cook. By 1230, England had felled so many trees it was importing most of its timber and was turning to coal.

“It was not until the 1600s,” Rosen writes, “that English miners found their way down to the level of the water table and started needing a means to get at the coal below it.” In time, steam engines were invented to pump out water and lift out coal. The engines were fired by coal.

Today, about half of America’s and the world’s electricity is generated by coal, the substance which, since it fueled the Industrial Revolution, has been a crucial source of energy. Over the last eight years, it has been the world’s fastest-growing fuel. The New York Times recently reported (“Booming China Is Buying Up World’s Coal,” Nov. 22) about China’s ravenous appetite for coal, which is one reason coal’s price has doubled in five years


More tomorrow.


I Just Had An Unexpected Experience With An Astro Turf Group

You won’t believe this, what with Google’s image as Mr. Clean and Green. BUT when you type in the simple phrase “household energy usage” into their search engine, the first hit you get is Energy Citizen. This is the astroturf  nonprofit front group sponsored by the Koch Brothers, Don Blankenship and Peabody Coal that wants the Federal Government out of the mining business. They want safety laws repealed and they detest global warming and Cap and Trade policies. Massey Energy is up for sale by the way so Blankenship may not be able to play with the big boys much longer…Ahhh poor baby.


Not only that but they land you write on the “To Join” page without even a chance to be repelled. How repelling is that?

Help Keep Our Recovery Going … Join Energy Citizens.

Businesses can thrive and create new jobs when energy is affordable and available. But when lawmakers hinder energy development, we all lose.

We need YOU to help Washington hear our message: American families and communities need sensible energy policies that power our economy and create jobs. Become part of our movement today — join Energy Citizens and let Congress hear your concerns about American energy and American jobs.

We need solutions that increase access to all reliable domestic energy: wind, solar, nuclear, and  yes  oil and natural gas. Our nation has ample energy reserves that can contribute to our economy for decades to come.

The tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the risks involved in energy development — and the need for improved safety. But this tragedy should not make us forget that our economy and way of life depend on affordable energy. We must not allow opponents to use the tragedy to stop domestic oil and natural gas development. Even with increased conservation, our nation’s energy needs are growing.

You can make a difference by joining our citizens’ movement for sensible energy policies. Help us win a national energy plan that creates jobs, promotes economic growth, and increases our security. Please join us TODAY  and tell Congress where you stand


Instead of here, where at least you can reject the party line if you want to.


Google should be ashamed of themselves. More tomorrow.


Global Resource Depletion OR Recycling A Waste Of Time – Which is it

shhh It’s Jam Band Friday –

OK so which is it, are we running out of stuff or not? Is 6 Billion people too many or not? Have we cut down way too may trees or not? I believe these answers are knowable. Are the Ocean’s fished out or not?  Is Global Warming happening? The issue seems to be Price. If Global Warming were happening then carbon would be expensive. But what if price isn’t the issue when capitalists and nations treat resources as if they were “free”.

:} :}

Blog item: Recycling? What A Waste.


This fall, school kids across the country will again be taught a chief doctrine in the civic religion: recycle, not only because you fear the police but also because you love the planet. They come home well prepared to be the enforcers of the creed against parents who might inadvertently drop a foil ball into the glass bin or overlook a plastic wrapper in the aluminum bin.

Oh, I used to believe in recycling, and I still believe in the other two R’s: reducing and reusing. However, recycling is a waste of time, money, and ever-scarce resources. What John Tierney wrote in the New York Times nearly 10 years ago is still true: “Recycling may be the most wasteful activity in modern America.”

Reducing and reusing make sense. With no investment in resources, I can place the plastic grocery bag in the bathroom garbage can and save a penny or so for some more-pressing need. Reducing and reusing are free market activities that are profitable investments of time and labor.

Any astute entrepreneur will see the benefit of conserving factors of production. Today, builders construct houses using less wood than similar houses built just 20 years ago. In addition, these houses are built sturdier; for the most part anyway.

The Green’s love for trees did not reduce the amount of wood used in construction; the reduction was simply a reaction to the increasing cost for wood products. Using less wood makes financial sense, and any entrepreneur worth his profit will change his recipe to conserve wood through better design or by substituting less dear materials for wood products.



Published Oct 20 2010 by The Oil Drum: Europe, Archived Oct 20 2010

Global resource depletion

by Ugo Bardi

André Diederen’s recent book on resource depletion

I have been thinking, sometimes, that I could reserve a shelf of my library for those books which have that elusive quality that I could call “modern wisdom”. Books that go beyond the buzz of the media news, the shallowness of politicians’ speech, the hyper-specialization of technical texts. That shelf would contain, first of all, “The Limits to Growth” by Meadows and others; then the books by Jared Diamond, James Lovelock, Konrad Lorenz, Richard Dawkins, Peter Ward and several others that have affected the way I see the world.

I think I’ll never set up such a shelf, I have too many books and too few shelves; many are packed full with three rows of books. But, if I ever were to put these books together, I think that the recent book by André Diederen “Global Resource Depletion” would make a nice addition to the lot.

The subject of resource depletion, of course, is well known to readers of “The Oil Drum”. So well known that it is difficult to think of a book that says something new. Diederen, indeed, succeeds in the task not so much in reason of the details on the availability of mineral commodities that he provides, but for the innovative way he describes our relation to the subject. In other words, Diederen’s book is not a boring list of data; it is a lively discussion on how to deal with the implications of these data. It is a book on the future and how we can prepare for it.

To give you some idea of the flavor of the book, just a quote:

(p. 43) “… it isn’t enough to have large absolute quantities (“the Earth’s crust is so big”) and to have all the technology in place. (p. 33) … we have plenty of water in the Mediterranean or Atlantic Ocean and we have ample proven technologies to desalinate and pipe the water to the desert, so, why isn’t the Sahara desert green yet?”

This is, of course, the crucial point of resource depletion: what counts is cost, not amounts (I plan to use this example in my next talk!). Diederen is an unconventional thinker and he goes deeply into matters that, in some circles would be thought to be unspeakable; for instance (p. 41)


Price? Really. More next week.


Steam Could Replaced Coal – In the most coal maligned place

It’s Jam Band Friday –


Google Warms to West Virginia’s Vast Geothermal Potential

Published October 07, 2010
Google Warms to West Virginia's Vast Geothermal Potential

The researchers calculated that if 2 percent of the available geothermal energy could be harnessed, the state could produce up to 18,890 megawatts (MW) of clean energy.

The study was conducted with more detailed mapping and more data points than had been used in previous research. For example, 1,455 new thermal data points were added to existing geothermal maps using oil, gas and water wells.

The research team found that most of the high-temperature points are located in the eastern part of the state.



“The presence of a large, baseload, carbon-neutral and sustainable energy resource in West Virginia could make an important contribution to enhancing the U.S. energy security and for decreasing CO2 emissions,” the report concluded.

Western Virginia is not a tectonically active zone, which has traditionally been seen as a requirement for economically viable geothermal power production and has resulted in most existing geothermal sites in the U.S. being located in the west of the country.

However, engineers reckon that emerging techniques could be used to harvest geothermal energy locked in tectonically stable regions. For example, pioneering technologies could be used to harvest hot geothermal fluids, along with oil or gas from the same well. Enhanced geothermal systems are also increasingly being used, in which fluids are injected into rock, replacing natural hydrothermal convection.

More Next Week.


Rep. Joe Barton – You can’t regulate God

But you CAN regulate the airlines, the world’s Air Forces, the Coal companies, and the water born freight business. You can regulate the Navy and you can regulate the 500 largest point of source polluters. But trying to regulate Al Gore proved difficult:

Barton was born in Waco, Texas to Bess Wynell Buice and Larry Linus Barton.[1] He graduated from Waco High School. He attended Texas A&M University in College Station on a Gifford-Hill Opportunity Award scholarship[2] and received a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1972. An M.Sc. in industrial administration from Purdue University followed in 1973. Following college Barton entered private industry until 1981 when he became a White House Fellow and served under Secretary of Energy James B. Edwards. Later, he began consulting for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas Co. before being elected to Congress in 1984.[3]

Barton was elected to represent Texas’s 6th congressional district in his first attempt, defeating Democratic opponent Dan Kubiak with 56% of the vote in a contest to succeed Phil Gramm, who left his seat to run for the United States Senate that year. He was one of six freshmen Republican congressmen elected from Texas in 1984 known as the Texas Six Pack. He received 88% of the vote in 2000, 71% of the vote in 2002 against Democratic challenger Felix Alvarado, and 66% of the vote in 2004 against Democratic challenger Morris Meyer.[citation needed]

In 1993, Barton ran in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the resignation of Lloyd Bentsen, who became Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration. Barton finished third in the contest and missed a runoff slot.[citation needed]

Congressman Barton is the Ranking Minority Member on the Energy & Commerce Committee.[


Rep. Barton has been regarded as a climate change denier[5] and his opposition to addressing global warming has been consistent and long-term. As a chairman with primary responsibility over the energy sector, Barton has consistently acted over the years to prevent congressional action on global warming.[11] In 2001, Barton declared, “as long as I am chairman, [regulating global warming pollution] is off the table indefinitely. I don’t want there to be any uncertainty about that.”[12] Barton led opposition to amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the Energy Advancement and Conservation Act in 2001, opposing an amendment to require the President to develop and implement a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels as called for by the non-binding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the U.S. is a party to.[13] In 2003, Barton again opposed amendments that would have recognized global warming during consideration of the National Energy Policy Act of 2003, opposing a nonbinding amendment that would have put Congress on record as saying that the U.S. should “demonstrate international leadership and responsibility in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change.”[14] In July 2003, Barton offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act to remove language that both recognized global warming and called on President Bush to reengage with the international community to find solutions.[15] In addition, Barton has consistently opposed proposals to reduce the nation’s dependence on oil.[16][17][18]

In 2005, prompted by a February 2005 Wall Street Journal article,[19] Rep. Barton has launched an investigation into two climate change studies from 1998 and 1999.[5] In his letters to the authors of the studies, he requested not just details on the studies themselves but significant information about their entire lives and previous studies. This has been widely regarded as an attempted attack on the scientists rather than a serious attempt to understand the science,[20] although some view it as a normal exercise of the committee’s responsibility and an effort to make possible scientific debate on a subject within its jurisdiction.[21][22] The Washington Post condemned Barton’s investigation as a “witch-hunt“.[23] Environmental Science & Technology, an obscure policy journal often cited by politicians, including Barton, reported what it said was scientific proof that global warming science is wrong.[24] See also Barton’s own response to this controversy in The Dallas Morning News.[25] The dispute expanded with Sherwood Boehlert‘s House Science Committee taking a strong interest.[26]

In 2006, Barton earned two “environmental harm demerits” from the conservative watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection, the first “for derailing floor passage of a sense of the House resolution … acknowledging climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”; the second, “for holding hearings, in his role as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, designed to intimidate climate scientists and raise doubt about the impacts and causes of climate change.”[27] The hearings were held by Barton’s committee on July 19, 2006, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations; there, several skeptics testified regarding the hockey stick graph.

During Former Vice President Al Gore‘s testimony to the Energy and Commerce Committee in March, 2007, Barton asserted to Gore that “You’re not just off a little, you’re totally wrong,”[28] thus reinforcing his denial that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global climate change.


The Inquisitor
Rep. Joe Barton
Republican, Texas

As ranking Republican on the House energy committee, Barton is a mini version of Sen. James Inhofe. In his view, the climate is changing for “natural variation reasons,” and humans should just “get shade” and learn to adapt. “For us to try to step in and say we have got to do all these global things to prevent the Earth from getting any warmer is absolute nonsense,” he insists. “You can’t regulate God.”

During the Bush era, Barton bottled up all climate legislation and pushed to open up public lands for drilling by private interests. He also targeted leading climate scientists, demanding that they provide Congress with detailed documentation of their financial interests. (Barton himself has received $1.4 million from oil and gas donors, plus $1.3 million from electric utilities.) The inquisition drew sharp rebukes, even from Barton’s fellow Republicans. Your “purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them,” then-Rep. Sherwood Boehlert told Barton. The effort “to have Congress put its thumbs on the scales of a scientific debate” is “truly chilling.”


With liars like this can the republic survive?


Dick Gephardt – He pollutes minds as well as the air

This pains me almost as much as Mary Landrieu. I never worked for Dick but he was always good on so many issues. C’est la vie…sigh

Dick Gephardt’s Spectacular Sellout

By Sebastian Jones

This article appeared in the October 19, 2009 edition of The Nation.

September 30, 2009

In March, months after the government gave an unprecedented $85 billion to AIG, the insurance giant released a list of counterparties, exposing some of the world’s top financial institutions as the real recipients of the bailout. First among its peers, Goldman Sachs got a whopping $12.9 billion, despite having claimed in September to be insulated from AIG’s troubles. Based on these revelations, Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who had dogged the financial industry since the crisis began, told his staff to prepare a letter calling for an investigation.

Two Congressional staffers familiar with the matter told The Nation that a draft was circulated to House members on March 23. Within hours, Cummings’s office had received a phone call from a lobbying firm hired by Goldman Sachs, making an “insistent but polite” request for a meeting. Cummings, intending to send the letter regardless, granted the audience, and so it was that top Goldman executives like president Gary Cohn and CFO David Viniar arrived the next day. They brought someone else too, a big-name Democratic politician with serious populist credibility: Dick Gephardt.


But the real issue here is pollution.

The Arm Twister
Dick Gephardt
CEO, Gephardt Group

The former House majority leader now uses his considerable political clout as a lobbyist for Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company. Working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, Gephardt has emerged as the most credible proponent of “clean coal” — an imaginary technology being touted by the industry as an alternative to limits on carbon pollution. (“Clean coal is like healthy cigarettes,” says Al Gore. “It does not exist.”) In July, Gephardt was the keynote speaker at the Clean Coal Technology Conference, an honor bestowed after he helped win $1 billion in stimulus funding for FutureGen, a “clean coal” boondoggle promoted by Peabody. That’s a significant return on the $1.7 million that Peabody and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance have invested in Gephardt Group’s services since 2007. His firm also lobbies for Ameren, the nation’s fourth-dirtiest utility, as well as for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The head of Peabody’s Washington office, Fred Palmer, marvels at the access the ex-congressman still enjoys on Capitol Hill: “I can meet with a lot of people, but I’m Fred Palmer. He’s Dick Gephardt.”


So to Dick we must say – Smoke gets in our eyes:


The Number 2 Polluter In The United States – Rupert Murdock

I know he is an Australian bloke but he owns the media in the US…

Meet the 17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming in Tim Dickinson’s “The Climate Killers.”

The Disinformer
Rupert Murdoch
CEO, News Corporation

In 2007, when the world’s most powerful media baron announced his newfound conviction that global warming “poses clear, catastrophic threats,” it seemed as though the truth about climate change might finally get the attention it deserves. Murdoch promised that not only would News Corp. itself become carbon-neutral by 2010, but that his media outlets would explain the urgent need for a cap on carbon emissions. Climate change, he pledged, would be addressed as a sober reality across the News Corp. empire, whether as a plot element on 24 or in a story on Fox News. “I don’t think there’s any question of my conviction on this issue,” Murdoch declared. “I’ve come to feel it very strongly.”

Since then, however, Murdoch and his media operations have become the nation’s leading source of disinformation about climate change. In October, Fox Business ran an extended segment on “The Carbon Myth,” inviting a hack scientist to “make the case” that more carbon pollution is actually “good for the environment.” The Wall Street Journal has continued to lie not only about the reality of global warming but about Obama’s efforts to prevent it, denouncing climate legislation as “likely to be the biggest tax in American history.”


Read the whole article. It is pretty damning.


Oh and I can’t resist, this is the best collection of envirovideos I have ever seen.