Coal miners seek answers after paychecks bounce, mines suddenly close

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by HumbledPi, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Nunya D.

    Nunya D. Well-Known Member

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    I am actually saying both.

    The problem with the "Government helping" is that the Government is made up of all kinds of people that have all kinds of opinions, just like regular folk. While one part of the Government might be helping, another part of the government is actively hindering. Public opinion will cause this wind sock to swing in either direction.

    Right now, coal is still a major power supplier. We need to be weened off of coal and we are. Once coal reaches a point where it's significance becomes irrelevant, then it will fade away into obscurity. That "clock" will NEVER be turned back and most of the regulations will NEVER be fully removed.
     
  2. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the one nation with more coal than the US may be China
     
  3. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    And my point is that there are market forces that are driving the problems of coal miner workers... independent of anything the government is doing
    And given those market forces....companies will continue to go bankrupt, and communities will continue to suffer
    Yes, one way or another, coal ... and particularly coal mining jobs.... will continue to fade away

    Personally, i would like to see a plan to help those people and their communities
    But the current plan of trying to recover mining jobs aint gonna work
    But, ironically, that is the plan that those people insist upon.... that is what they voted for trump to do
    It feels “right” to them, but the tide of history has changed and there is nothing going to change that reality.

    But as long as the reality is not accepted... there will never be a plan to move on
    And so, it will always be shocking when another coal company shuts down
     
  4. Nunya D.

    Nunya D. Well-Known Member

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    I think we are in complete agreement.

    I saw the same thing happen here in the Pacific Northwest with the logging industry. People tried to hold onto those logging jobs even though the writing was on the wall that the industry would never return to the "golden days". Politicians on both sides of the aisle promised and promised that they would make the jobs return in order to placate the voters....and failed. Lumber mills shutdown left and right and are still shutting down. The difference between the 2 industries is that logging is still viable and there is still a need....just not the viability and need that it once had. There is not a complete replacement for logging as of yet, but there are plenty of alternatives to coal....and those alternatives are still being perfected and will eventually completely replace coal.
     
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  5. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

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    Cupla more people, too, than the USA.
     
  6. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    True. but they are ceasing coal use even faster than us. They have to, they won't be able to BREATHE otherwise.
     
  7. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Interestingly
    The west virginia coal is good and necessary to make coke which is required to make steel and for which there is no substitute. And.... this carbon is incorporated into the iron ore in order to make “carbon steel”
     
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  8. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Yes, aside from any co2 impact, burning coal is pretty dirty. You can of course clean up those other pollutants, but that makes coal more expensive. Clean coal is possible.... just not cost effective
     
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  9. HumbledPi

    HumbledPi Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    This is what one community in West Virginia is fighting to preserve. Although Progressive Green New Deal advocates say they plan to visit Appalachian coal communities (potentially hostile territory for them) in the coming months in order to sell them on trading coal for federal dollars, clean energy, and infrastructure jobs, there remains a great deal of skepticism of course.

    In 2015, the Obama administration created the POWER initiative, meant to help keep workers in coal-dependent areas by spending on local workforce development programs. The Appalachian Regional Commission, has awarded more than $90 million in funding to economic and workforce development projects. This spending could create or retain nearly 9,000 jobs in Appalachian coal communities. But, Trump has not promoted this initiative, no doubt because it was created under the Obama administration. It still technically exists but Trump tried to eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission, Congress stopped him.

    Some miners resist retraining, especially older workers accustomed to making upwards of $80,000 to $100,000 a year, because there are few available jobs from new industries. Imagine living in rural W. Virginia with an annual salary of $80k a year!? Anyone in any-city USA would love to be able to earn that much money. This is one reason the coal miners are resistant to any innovation that would steer them into new jobs within the clean energy sector. They certainly wouldn't be earning what they were mining coal.

    It's just a fact that clean energy is eventually going to replace the need for underground coal mining. The transition will be painful for many that resist it. States like Kentucky, W. Virginia and Pennsylvania need to prepare for this by creating new demand for workers to build solar panels and wind turbines. Planning for the inevitable coal-to-clean economic transition can create new economic opportunities in every corner of the country, but only if each state recognizes the inevitable and sets plans in place now, not later.

    'Clean Jobs America' has found more than 3.3 million Americans are working in clean energy which outnumbered fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1. Nearly 335,000 people work in the solar industry and more than 111,000 work in the wind industry, compared to 211,000 working in coal mining or other fossil fuel extraction.

    https://www.e2.org/reports/clean-jobs-america-2019/
     
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  10. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    Thing is, we have LOTS of coal.

    Couldn't some other uses be found for it? I know it's the basis of nearly as many plastics as oil.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  11. jay runner

    jay runner Well-Known Member

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    That's a community built by Big Pharma gone wild.
     
  12. Nunya D.

    Nunya D. Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I was thinking more of the energy application of coal. Not the other uses.
     
  13. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Probably yes, but not in massive quantities as used for burning
     
  14. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That is one of the problems...not only do these people need new jobs, they need to accept training, and they have to actually work a new jobs, and those jobs have to be very well paid. This is a tough nut to crack
     
  15. fullmetaljack

    fullmetaljack Well-Known Member

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    Actually, most modern steel production uses electrical induction to heat the smelting vessel. Coal still is consumed by electrical generation plants(27% in 2018 nationally), but only ones grandfathered in before the Clean Air Act. No new coal burning electrical generation plant has been built in decades.
     
  16. FoxHastings

    FoxHastings Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if those coal miners we saw cheering for Trump are still cheering.....
     
  17. HTownMarine

    HTownMarine Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Someone is working OT, it just wasn't them.
     
  18. Egoboy

    Egoboy Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Doubt it... but Kentucky now has a viable alternative to those stuck in the 1890's...

    Senator Amy McGrath....
     
  19. FoxHastings

    FoxHastings Well-Known Member

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    FoxHastings said:
    I wonder if those coal miners we saw cheering for Trump are still cheering.....


    Don't be to sure about them not cheering, Trump supporters will cheer even with a big brown boot firmly on their necks.
     
  20. cd8ed

    cd8ed Well-Known Member Donor

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    As someone that lives in Appalachia all of these people benefit from the big scary government programs meant to help with healthcare, education, substance abuse, and environmental regulations but they they will continue to vote against their best interests because they really believe they are just disadvantaged millionaires that haven’t made it big yet.

    It’s quite absurd actually.

    These people are good hardworking individuals but have been spoon fed propaganda — their children will hopefully break the habit.
     
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  21. opion8d

    opion8d Well-Known Member Donor

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    "Tough nut to crack" is right. Folks in basic industries that lose their high paying jobs then resist government help or training for new jobs are in trouble. To make matters worse, there isn't a lot of labor mobility there. West Virginia is a pretty state, but coal towns are a blight. Getting business to invest in blighted areas is challenging even with tax breaks. Many companies won't invest in blighted areas even if offered zero taxes in perpetuity because it's nearly impossible to recruit talent there.

    This is a great discussion, but solutions aren't coming easily. I believe a lot of good people are trying to come up with solutions, but part of that depends on labor flexibility which doesn't seem to be there. The Coal Miners Union has invited Democratic candidates to address them with solutions. Maybe something will come of it. One can hope. A tough nut to crack indeed.
     
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  22. Spim

    Spim Well-Known Member Donor

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    80k salary and they can't afford a bigger trailer?

    I would totally get a bigger trailer.
     
  23. Thedimon

    Thedimon Well-Known Member

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    What does a failure of a business entity have to do with Trump? Are you going to start pinning all bankruptcies on him? If so, then let’s pin record profits on him as well to see how things play out.

    As for the coal miners - it’s very unfortunate what happened to them. Usually in this type of situation a court will auction off company’s assets and pay employees first. Considering that mining operation requires a lot of assets and equipment, I think the employees will be eventually paid off, but it might take some time. The good news is that unemployment is very low, so most of those miners should be able to find a reasonable job fairly soon.
     
  24. 61falcon

    61falcon Well-Known Member

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    Not to worry their duly elected senators Randy Paul and Mitch the bitch will no doubt take care of their constituents.
     
  25. HumbledPi

    HumbledPi Well-Known Member

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    For $80k in W. Virginia you could probably buy a couple of stationary brick and mortar homes.
     

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