Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Truth About Coal
Great Britain closed it last remaing coal mine, But, Donald Trump has deregulate the coal industry and continues to mislead coal and the coal industry.. However, commentator Fareed Zakaria layed out the reality that hopefully many of these miners will see.
On March 28th, Donald Trump signed an executive order he claimed would create energy independence and put coal miners back to work. He said the following in his speech:
"I went to a group of miners in West Virginia -- you remember, Shelley -- and I said, how about this: Why don’t we get together, we'll go to another place, and you'll get another job; you won't mine anymore. Do you like that idea? They said, no, we don’t like that idea -- we love to mine, that's what we want to do. I said, if that's what you want to do, that's what you're going to do.
And I was very impressed. They love the job. That's what their job is. I fully understand that. I grew up in a real estate family, and until this recent little excursion into the world of politics, I could never understand anybody who would not want to be in the world of real estate. Believe me. So I understand it. And we're with you 100 percent, and that's what you're going to do. Okay?
The miners told me about the attacks on their jobs and their livelihoods. They told me about the efforts to shut down their mines, their communities, and their very way of life. I made them this promise: We will put our miners back to work. (Applause.) We've already eliminated a devastating anti-coal regulation -- but that was just the beginning.
Today, I'm taking bold action to follow through on that promise. My administration is putting an end to the war on coal. We're going to have clean coal -- really clean coal. With today’s executive action, I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations."
The Reality According to Brookings Institution
While Trump argues that the CPP rollback will benefit jobs, he is referring to a relatively small set of interests. While it is important to be mindful of the need to blunt the potential economic hardship that people working in dying industries face, even insiders acknowledge that the coal sector is not going to recover even with these rules rolled back, not least because of mechanization. Recent Department of Energy statistics show that the coal mining industry employed roughly 66,000 miners in 2015, compared to an estimated 3 million jobs supported by clean energy. Therefore, the likely impact of the order on the coal industry will be fairly weak in the near term and, at best, mediocre in the long term. While reversing the moratorium on new coal mining leases will open new sources of supply, it will not in itself reverse the trends in energy markets that have increasingly favored gas. In addition, other regulations to control air pollution will continue to restrict the burning of coal for electricity.
In short, there are better ways to encourage work for those disaffected by the shifting of tectonic plates of the energy economy.
Fareed Zakaria wrapped it all up in his segment. He points out that the growing part of our energy sector is not in fossil fuels but renewable energy. He shows that while coal jobs continue to fall precipitously, the renewable industry is growing leaps and bounds above the rest.
Trump is hoping that empty symbolic gestures will keep his working class voters at bay. He should take no solace in the reprieve he is getting from Republican detractors. Reality will set in with the Trump voter as it did for one of his early campaign leaders who just came out and slammed the president as they were leaving the Trump train.
Black Lung Disease
Black lung disease is a common name for any lung disease that develops from inhaling coal dust. This name comes from the fact that those with the disease have lungs that look black instead of pink. Medically, it is a type of pneumoconiosis called coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP). There are two forms: simple CWP and complicated CWP, which also involves progressive massive fibrosis (PMF).
The inhalation and accumulation of coal dust into the lungs increases the risk of developing chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The severity of CWP depends on the type of coal dust, how much dust was in the air, and how long you have been exposed to it.
Smoking does not increase the prevalence of CWP, nor does it affect the development of CWP. But it may add to lung damage and contribute to the development of COPD. Coal workers who smoke are at much greater risk of developing COPD than nonsmoking coal workers.
When coal dust accumulates in the lungs, a coal macule may form. A coal macule is a combination of coal dust and macrophages. As the disease progresses, macules can develop into a coal nodule, an abnormality of the lung tissue. In time, a type of emphysema and fibrosis may develop.
Lung nodules wider than 1 cm (0.4 in.) have been accepted as evidence of progressive massive fibrosis (PMF), although some organizations say a minimum width of 2 cm (0.8 in.) is necessary. Nodules may grow to a large size and hinder or stop the airflow in the lungs' airways.
Occupational history is very important to the diagnosis of CWP-if a person has not been exposed to coal dust, he or she cannot have CWP. The occupational history should include not only recent and past full-time employment, but also summer jobs, student jobs, military history, and short-term jobs.
The diagnosis of CWP has legal public health implications, since some states require that all cases be reported.
There are several U.S. laws regarding CWP and its treatment, and the government may help pay for treatment. But to be eligible, you must be totally and permanently disabled by this disease. Most miners aren't eligible for federal black lung benefits.
IMPORTANT: This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Photos of Black Lung Disease