The Magazine

Country Roads to Nowhere

Obama deserts coal; Democrats desert Obama.

Sep 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 02 • By HENRY PAYNE
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The use of coal has not only brought generations of jobs, but also is the backbone of American electricity generation, providing 40 percent of the nation’s electricity—which in turn gives America’s Midwest manufacturing sector a competitive advantage with some of the cheapest electricity on the planet.

In June, Patriot Coal—with 12 mining complexes across Appalachia to Illinois and some 2 billion tons of proven coal reserves—became the first U.S. coal company to file for bankruptcy in years as its shares (echoing other coal companies’) fell 72 percent to 61 cents. There will be no federal coal bailout. Moody’s has downgraded the U.S. coal industry’s outlook to “negative” in part, says the rating service’s senior analyst Anna Zubets-Anderson, because “newly proposed U.S. carbon dioxide regulations would effectively prohibit new coal plants.”

In Charlotte, President Obama conjured cheers from his audience when he said, “My plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is .  .  . a threat to our children’s future.”
In working-class middle America, the threat to the future is Obama’s plan.

Henry Payne is editor of themichiganview.com and editorial cartoonist for the Detroit News.

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