In terms of coal miners, those two words spell certain death to their jobs, jobs of which they support their families, consume goods, and increase money flow overall in an American economy that has already been strapped with decreasing cash flow due to the widening income gap between the wealthy and the poor.
After the OPEC oil embargo in 1973 following U.S. support of the Yom Kippur War in Israel, it seemed that America was slowly facing a reality that the plentiful resources of which we produce anything in this nation would be at the mercy of globalization.
And with that, in 1977, President Carter suggested that America shift to “plentiful coal.”
And in 2017 terms, the idea of switching to “plentiful coal” may espouse images of smog-ridden China to environmentalists, with Beijing only recently admitting that coal pollution is increasing public health threat.
Rather than being wholly a political issue, American coal miners are part of an aging sect who is losing their jobs due to automation of energy industries. In addition, to put the cherry on top of a sundae that is all but to quickly melting in the face of greater and more globalized market forces, the decline of coal mining jobs are all but caused by cheaper sources of limited energy–namely natural gas.
Likewise, in politics, when a person like Trump has said that “I am going make America Great Again,” it became a legitimate point of contention for coal miners who are nonetheless politically involved due to their livelihoods. However, on the other side, Trump’s denunciation of career politicians who have dominated policy for the past few decades have de-legitimized politicians like Hillary Clinton and her campaign trail proposal for furthering government subsidies that would help coal miners transition out of the coal industry and into other labor industries.
However, to that extent, Hillary’s Clinton’s proposal of $30 Billion to aid the transition from coal to clean energy back in 2016 is a policy that seems to be unpopular with coal miners dissatisfied with the U.S. government’s previous attempts at subsidization of the coal industry.
The state of the union right now can be ascribed as a laughable body of incoherence. With cacophonous roast sessions of Trump’s cabinet nominees by Democrats plastering the media and with a game of “who’s who?” by Republicans in Congress prevents voices of coal miners from being the center of an issue when they are pitifully losing against globalization.
It seems, that in the end, the coal miners and Americans alike employed in America’s declining manufacturing industry is correlated with a greater and more alarming trend towards an elitist and oligarchic government, regardless of political philosophy. It is the unrealistic idealism that many an elected pursue that results in failed policies and creates further points of distrust within the people. Washington seems to be losing the point of who they actually are serving, or even what they are supposed to be serving.
Compromise is then, ultimately the precipice of which greater, more cooperative government arises. Government need not be incorporative of all perspectives, but only perspectives that are universal and significant to the welfare of both the state and its people (i.e. realistic). Politicians must avoid the partisan centralization of their policies, and politicians must understand that policies are only loose starting grounds of which an issue is resolved, not that they have already been set.
Democrats simply need to get the point that they cannot just push with whatever seems to be moral (i.e. to conservatives, hippies seems to be the word that paints a picture of environmentalists). The Democrat’s version of Kantian ethics is simply too much of an oversight, and they need some utilitarianism in their system. Likewise to the conservatives, too much funding in energies that are limited is also an oversight to the energy security of our nation (I mean, we don’t want to keep on depending on foreign countries for our energy needs, don’t we?)
In all, coal country is something America can rely on confidently to reassure ourselves that we have something to produce electricity on in the coming years where the amount of crude petrol that is being produced is declining. Energy security is something very real, and why not have people who have skills in the field have an opportunity to continue to run the industry? While technology is great, we need to understand that there is an irreparable human cost to investing and using technology, specifically with automation and renewable energies. And when that time comes where coal is gone, we certainly have had the time of which Washington can account for those in the coal industry that need to transition out of it.
For now and certainly so, we can make coal clean—if we already and successfully began the process of making internal combustion engines less environmentally impactful, then why not coal? It would be an excellent opportunity for job stimulation and economic growth, if not cheaper electricity, which is a great benefit for all US Americans.
So we can wait a little bit on renewable energy. We have the infrastructure and knowledge to do so. It’s not procrastination; it is being logical, in that we have a more immediate issue at hand. Once we finish solving what is immediate, we could then be looking at the long term in terms of energy security solutions in Washington soon afterward.