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War on coal a big lie

August 26, 2012
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

"Read My Lips," "Lipstick on a Pig," "He was for it before he was against it," "Yes we can," "War on women," "death panel," "I'm not a witch." All are clever slogans politicians use to get our attention and influence our vote.

When Mitt Romney came to town recently to field test the "War on Coal" slogan, he went home disappointed. The only network coverage I saw of the event was the governor again hammering the president for raiding Medicare of $716 billion. This just gave Barack Obama surrogates and the president himself another opportunity to debunk that lie by noting the $716 billion remains intact within Medicare but will be diverted from discounts for insurers, pharmaceutical firms, hospital and doctor payments, etc., and be used to reduce the Medicare doughnut hole and pay for colonoscopies, mammograms, annual physicals, etc., within the Affordable Care Act. It's pretty much the procedure we mortals use when transferring money from savings to the checking account for a family priority. The truth is not hard to understand, but Romney-Ryan campaign handlers seem committed to not letting the truth get in the way of a good attack ad.

We in the Ohio Valley are accustomed to believe we live in coal country U.S.A., but in 2010 while Ohio mined 27.3 million tons, it was only 2.5 percent of total U.S. coal production. Similarly, Ohio's Co2 emissions were 4.48 percent of the country's total. Chalk one up for Obama because during the final two years of the Bush administration, coal production in Ohio was only 22.6 million in 2007 and 26.3 million in 2008. It seems that the president is waging a war for, not against, coal.

So, who's producing all the coal? I was surprised to learn that in 2010 Texas, Wyoming and Utah (Bush, Cheney and Romney political strongholds) mined 46.4 percent of all U.S. coal and produced 13.56 percent of the Co2 emissions in the U.S.

Also, during the Bush administration, coal exports in 2006 and 2007 totaled 108.8 million tons. In 2011 alone, coal exports totaled 107.2 million tons. Chalk up another one for Obama. Mr. President, you rock.

The mythical "war on coal" has no legs nor shelf life because early on the Huffington Post, New York Times and other national media exposed it as "a $30 million disinformation campaign to distract Americans from the deadly effects of air pollution on public health in order to protect and enhance profits."

To fully understand the corporate and political deception, you need only do a Goggle search on "Chesire, Ohio, a 21st century ghost town." Cheshire is a small town just 150 miles down river from Brilliant. Please do it, it's important to your family and mine.

Jerry Krupinski


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