The quiet war on coal and which side is winning

Our ability to live comfortably with cheap, reliable energy is in jeopardy. With all of the controversy that surrounded the Keystone pipeline, environmentalists have been quietly lobbying and conducting other efforts to shut down the nation’s coal industry. Politico has published an investigative report on the Sierra Club’s war on coal. A coal industry representative is quoted as saying that Sierra Club activists have helped close over 200 coal-fired power plants across the country in the last five years.

“They’re sophisticated, they’re very active, and they’re better funded than we are,” Mike Duncan, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, told Politico. “I don’t like what they’re doing. We’re losing a lot of coal in this country.”

The Sierra Club proudly brags that one third of America’s coal-fired plants have shut down thanks to their efforts and The Washington Post reported last year that EPA carbon regulations and increased competition could force even more coal-based power plants to shut down.

The coal industry produces almost half of the country’s energy needs and is being attacked in numerous ways. This is all being brought on by billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg subsidizing the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. The green group’s activists have tenaciously been lobbying state and local governments to shut down coal-fired power plants and they are basing their arguments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that almost 80% of the energy sector’s carbon emissions is due to coal usage. The agency is set to implement a long-term plan that will cut coal-fired plant emissions which will result in even more coal-fired plants being shut down.

But if the Sierra Club is successful in halting coal usage, don’t think they will stop there. Despite fracking making natural gas more affordable, Politico points out that the environmentalist group is already committed to eliminating gas usage by 2030. In addition to helping to close down gas-powered plants in Austin, Texas and Carlsbad, California, the Sierra Club has vowed to halt Duke Energy’s decision to replace its Asheville, North Carolina coal-fired plant with a gas-powered one.

Even though President Obama and the Sierra Club have pushed renewable energy sources (like wind and solar power) to replace fossil fuels they will still not be enough to power our energy needs. Last year the Spiegel pointed out that there are times when Germany’s wind and solar plants can’t generate enough energy due to the lack of wind or sunlight at different times of the day or depending on the weather. When capacity is low, heavy oil and coal power plants are fired up to make up the difference thereby negating any benefit derived from renewable energy sources.

Consequently, with coal and gas-fired plants shut down and if the Sierra Club is successful in ending using either fossil fuel source to power our energy needs, guess what happens when wind and solar plants can’t meet capacity? Not only do the renewable plants shut down but everyone’s power goes out. Like I have said previously, there is a reason why green groups urge people to participate in Earth Hour. It is not to get people to urge politicians to address climate change but to symbolize the green movement’s undaunted efforts as evidenced by their hostility to energy sources like coal and gas in order to revert Western Civilization to a new Dark Ages. That is what will happen if the Sierra Club’s efforts to halt using coal and gas for our energy needs is successful.