A startling report issued by The New York Times yesterday in which The Grey Lady’s underlying premise just about admits that banning coal use ruins lives and hurts poor people the most.
The Times‘ accomplishes this by outlining the effects of the incompetence conducted during China’s anti-pollution campaign to stop the use of coal that Chinese environmentalists have also pushed for. The article’s coverage is centered in the country’s largest coal producing region located in the northern province of Shanxi. Despite potential bureaucratic shortcomings, the Chinese state undertook its effort last March and ratcheted up clamping down on coal use five months later on, admittedly, high pollution levels by enacting standards backed up with fines and other disciplinary actions that local officials undertook to appease the brass in Beijing.
Many coal stoves were removed before new furnaces were installed, leaving tens of thousands of people shivering without heat when winter’s first cold snap arrived earlier than normal. Then, with so many districts switching to natural gas at once, demand for the new source of fuel overwhelmed supplies, sending prices soaring and creating shortages.
After a huge outcry resulting in a loss of energy for suburban homes, the government briefly backed off and allowed coal use, including allowing a coal-fired power plant in Hebei province located near Beijing to continue operating while delaying moving off of coal until 2020. The New York Times still attempts to pitch that Chinese residents appreciated this oppression in which the closing of coal mines continues.
For now, local governments subsidize natural gas use to make it more affordable for rural residents. None the less, rural residents contend that natural gas is still much more expensive to use than coal. Not surprisingly, a black market for coal has cropped up in parts of northern China since natural gas heaters are not adequate to heat their residences.
China’s pollution levels have come down, but the cost is ruining people’s lives instead of taking the least expensive option of supplying rural Chinese residents and businesses with filter systems for their coal heaters. Like Obama and his environmentalist allies abhorrent crusade against coal, the Chinese government undertook a ferocious campaign of intimidation that local Communist bosses were all to eager to undertake. The poor, rural Chinese resident can suffer and even die in bitter cold homes under the blue skies sought by the state.
PHOTO CREDIT Pinterest – an abandoned coal mining town in Minnesota.