Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How long can this go on?

I thought I was going to write a lot of posts about Luddites, but I ended up writing a lot of posts about Al Gore. So (with a nod to Devo and the original artists) let's do a search on Al Gore and the coal industry.

Understandably, at least one person in the coal industry doesn't care for Gore:

On the April 6 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN correspondent Carol Costello reported on "coal miner-turned-CEO of Murray Energy Corporation" Robert Murray's views on global warming, including his opinion that former Vice President Al Gore is "the shaman of global goofiness and gloom and doom." Costello concluded the report on Murray by claiming, without evidence or rebuttal, "What he's really concerned about are people losing their jobs."

While Media Matters isn't enamored with Robert Murray, the New York Sun is:

Unlike many heads of corporations who are taking their companies on that long green mile and caving in to the demands of environmental militants, Mr. Murray is fighting tooth and nail for what he says is, "the little guy that nobody cares about."

"Some wealthy elitists in our country," he told the audience, "who cannot tell fact from fiction, can afford an Olympian detachment from the impacts of draconian climate change policy. For them, the jobs and dreams destroyed as a result will be nothing more than statistics and the cares of other people. These consequences are abstractions to them, but they are not to me, as I can name many of the thousands of the American citizens whose lives will be destroyed by these elitists' ill-conceived ‘global goofiness' campaigns."

Mr. Murray was a coal miner in Ohio who survived two mining accidents and built funds from a mortgaged house into a private coal mining company with more than 3,000 employees.

Whatever Gore might think of the coal industry, he loves the coal miners - or at least he did in 2000:

Al Gore today announced his strong support of the Coal Miner and Widows Health Protection Act. The bill will ensure that retired coal miners and their families maintain the health benefits they have been promised. “I will fight to fulfill the promise of lifetime health benefits to coal miners and their families,” Gore said. “Passage of the [this] bill will ensure that thousands of families throughout America’s coal field communities will never have to go without critically needed health care benefits.“

Earlier this year, [Gore proposed] securing the long-term solvency of the United Mine Workers Combined Benefit Fund, which was created by Congress in 1992 to provide for the continuation of health benefits for retired coal miners and their families. ”In 1992, Congress reaffirmed a promise that was first made more than a half century ago by the coal industry and the federal government,“ Gore said. ”I intend to work with the Congress to make sure that this promise is kept.“


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