Senator Fienstein Joins The War On Coal
By Charles Kubach, Mine-Engineer.Com
Oct. 22, 2009
I recently sent my senator, Diane Fienstein a letter letting her know that I am not in favor of the Appalachia Restoration Act, because any regulation must provide for properly designed fills to store the rock that covers the coal seams. Many of these fills are placed in low lying areas, and would be classified as "water ways, streams, etc.." Unlike Senator Fienstein, I know coal mining and have designed mountain top removal mines. In Appalachia, a standard method of designing a fill is called a "hollow fill". This simply means that refuse material (rock) from the mine is placed in a low lying area, between hills, and filled to a pre-determined height. All water from outside the fill is channeled away from the fill, by a series of trenches, called diversion ditches. The only water that touches the fill is rainfall that directly falls onto the fill, and it is channeled directly through the bottom of the fill, in a drain constructed with the fill, to a holding pond. In the pond, the water is treated, if necessary, to meet NPDES water standards, and can then be legally discharged to any stream or river.
No harm to the environment or the water quality, following existing regulations. However the current radical left does not care about science, facts or the fact that thousands of Americans are employed in this industry that provides a very good living for them and their families. They only care about passing their ludicrous agenda to shut down all mining and this is one of their pet projects. Mountain top mining has these left winged loonies in a frenzy, because they do not have a clue what it is, they just "know" they don't like it because some green organization told them it is bad.
Senator Fienstien's staff is so dumb they could not understand the English my letter was written in, so they interpreted it to mean that I am in favor of this legislation. Perhaps I should have written it in Spanish, the official language of California. But then, that is another matter altogether. Below are the first two paragraph's of the Senator's response.
"Thank you for writing to express your support for the "Appalachia Restoration Act" (S. 696). I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the practice of mountaintop removal mining - which involves removing mountaintops to mine coal seams within the mountain - has been found to have damaging effects on nearby streams as large quantities of excess rock and dirt may cause the deterioration of the watershed and the filling of streams. I share your concerns about the environmental impacts of mountaintop removal mining and am pleased to inform you that I am a co-sponsor of the "Appalachia Restoration Act" (S. 696). If enacted, S. 696 would amend the Clean Water Act to prevent the disposal of mountaintop mining waste into streams and rivers. "
If they cannot understand the very clear language of my letter, how could they possibly understand what coal mining is, or what mountain top mining is? Obviously they don't have a clue to either, just like their extreme left winged supporters. I could have referred the Senator to the High School in Pike County Kentucky, which is built on a former mountain top removal site, because there was no flat land elsewhere to build it. The residents of Pike County got a new school, athletic facilities, and adequate parking for students and faculty. It also does not need flood protection, because it is above the flood plain. The Senator, nor the loonies that support her, realize that flat land is scarce in these areas, and what little there is constantly floods, because it is near streams that channel the water from the hills when it rains. I suppose Senator Fienstien would prefer the residents be on welfare, and swim around in government provided scuba gear when it rains, all the while, living in boats, next to the myriad streams in these areas.
The fact that coal generates about 50% of all electricity in the USA does not enter into the left winged loonie equation, either. As they would just as soon have everyone lining in the dark. For years the environmentalists touted the electric car and wrote about conspiracies preventing it from coming to market. Now, I wonder how the electric auto will operate without generated electricity? About as well as the typical environmentalists brain, I believe.
Clean coal technology has developed to the state that CO2 emissions are reduced by 15% to 30%. Using carbon capture and storage technology, and by converting coal to hydrogen, zero CO2 emission plants are possible. The DOE is currently building a zero emission coal power plant, which President Obama signed a budget providing $1,000,000,000. Not much, considering the bailout funds of trillions, and the healthcare funds which will top 1.2 trillion, but better than nothing. Zero emission plants will not operate without coal, however, just like electric autos will not operate without electricity.
Perhaps, Senator Fienstein, being a California citizen, is going to Californiaize the USA. The California legislature is currently considering making all televisions with screens larger than 40" against the law. They failed to take action five years ago, to push the construction of new power plants in the face of rolling blackouts and brownouts in California, so they now offer laws to solve the electricity problem. Brilliant. A typical response form a brainless, clueless governmental body. Next, irons, hairdryers, air conditioners and toasters will be outlawed, along with everything that uses more electricity than the government thinks is "necessary". We, the consumer citizens must be told, by the wiser government, what we can buy and what we can not buy, have or use.
We are loosing our heritage, freedom, with every bad law enacted by these bums, and the USA will become a 3d world, totalitarian state with the progression of this type of governmental mentality. Where will it end, The Union of Socialist States of America? That is where the current administration is headed, and they are on the fast track to get there.
Coal must be a part of the future of America, if we are to progress, we have the current resources to provide all the foreseeable energy supply for hundreds of years from known coal reserves. The radical left would have the citizens believe that there is some magical source of energy out there, that has butterflies and birds flying around it. They like solar generation facilities (which are only 25% efficient), but they file lawsuits to block the construction of these, because they think it may harm the environment, somehow. The USA will end up like California, in the dark, if the left winged loonies have their way, and they are getting it under the Obama administration.
"The Sign of an intelligent person is not the realization of all they know,
but rather the realization of all they do not know."
Charles Kubach 1979
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