I use anthracite coal to support these people


Pictures are from a party in coal country on google. No need to put pictures of the BP oil spill or Russian KGB or women living in fear in the Middle East.

I appreciate the “positive” feedback from many of you on the greenmiles post about natural gas.  Tom put some pictures of some land excavation as a result of mining for coal.  Again, I don’t want to move to Florida (yet) nor do I want to wear hats and coats while inside the house during the winter.  Instead of using oil, I would rather give my money to these fella’s who work hard and make an honest buck.  Why burn oil knowing Chavez or Putin or a Saudi King will end up with some of my money.  I would rather keeps these folks working, they are our brothers and sisters and are not “obsolete“.  Plus, I save hundreds of dollars a month during the winter :)





37 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. You're disturbing

    How much time did you spend looking for pictures of people in the shabbiest clothes with gap-toothiest grins? I’m sure the people of coal country greatly appreciate you highlighting the most stereotypically downtrodden-looking among them.

    • Guess greenmiles would not like me

      I would fit right in with these people. Funny how I see salt of the earth people who are “real”, not worrying about fancy clothes or latest golf clubs for sale. Tell me, what did the CEO of Solyndra look like?

      • The worst kind of ignoramus

        Doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

        Do you think the people in these pictures wouldn’t love a better life for themselves and their children? Do you think they like working their asses off in a coal mine for little money and an early grave so you can have the cheapest (and I do mean lowest-quality) home heating possible?

        These are real lives that go on long after the imaginary Real Uhmericun party in your head is over.

      • What's missing from this picture...?

        I would fit right in with these people. Funny how I see salt of the earth people who are “real”, not worrying about fancy clothes or latest golf clubs for sale. Tell me, what did the CEO of Solyndra look like?

        I’ll bet any amount of money that each and every one of these ‘salt of the earth people” would give their left nut, right lung and all the remaining strength in their body to see their children go to a good college, become a CEO and get to play golf on their day off…

        The difference between you and me is that you want these people to stay in this arduous profession to justify your economic psychosis and I want to put them through an arduous education so that when one job evaporates they either find, or create, another.

        • Petr- not everyone can be a CEO or MD or professor

          I suppose miners or mfg. jobs like a paper mill factory or a Whirlpool factory job is beneath you and most here. Now i know why the elites are with Ed Markey. Not me, I hold these folks in high regard, they WORK instead of complaining like Occupy Wall Street protestors. Why when I can, I will support them by buying their products or vote for politicians like Lynch who knows what it is like to do a days work, not be the “progressive” type and undercut their livelihood with crap trade deals.

          With the exception of Sco, stunned by the blowback I have received b/c I heat with anthracite coal instead of oil.

          • BFD for you ...

            Not me, I hold these folks in high regard, they WORK instead of complaining like Occupy Wall Street protestors.

            So what? Regardless of the blast of your esteem, they still would give their left nut, right lung and all else to see their kids do better than they. You regard, and mine, also, has nil to do with the issues we’re discussing here.

            With the exception of Sco, stunned by the blowback I have received b/c I heat with anthracite coal instead of oil.

            I call BS. You’re not “stunned” at all. It’s exactly what you wanted and you have taken every opportunity to misinterpret, mistake and misread what you’ve been given.

            • Petr- most people would give whatever they have for their kids

              I don’t disagree with that. But most people don’t love their jobs, but they get up and be role models to their kids, showing them one must work to eat, provide for their family, etc. I don’t understand the vitriol against coal workers. Many here are coming across as snobs.

          • This person doesn't work at all

            Unless commenting on BMG counts as “work”.

            There is no temporal gap wide enough between any two comments on Feb 20 to fit in any “work”.

    • By the way...,

      It took me just a few seconds to find the pictures, google ” anthracite coal workers”, click images, and it’s on the first page. It’s the only one in color so I chose it.

  2. Or you can support...

    …investment in clean energy that would ultimately be a net job gain, as well as job retraining programs so these folks can find other work.

    • That's the problem Christopher

      Coal is U.S.A., cant be outsourced like solar panels to China or wind turbines to Europe. These folks have a job for life, unless we ban the product the harvest. No easy answer, just saying.

      • This isn't much different...

        …than whining about the jobs of tobacco farmers when we were cracking down on the tobacco industry. At least the tobacco farmers were not inhaling the junk they produced as they were harvesting it. Wind turbines have to be built where the wind is, so those jobs can’t be outsourced. We can easily gain the competitive advantage in clean energy and not let China surpass us if we played our cards right. Yes, some industries do become obsolete.

        • Christopher- wind turbines are not made in the U.S.A.

          Not sure that matters to many of you Markey voters but that is besides the point.

          Christopher- the bird killing guillotines in Kingston Ma have a Hyundai logo at the top, is this an American Company? Also, the turbines in Newhaven CT were mostly made in…..China. I feel better and better with burning my coal knowing where my money goes.


          • If you're so worried about birds

            please stop driving your car immediately, then tape giant X’s across each and every window of your home and place of work and ask others to do the same.

            Until them, stop concern trolling. You don’t give a frack about the birds.

            RyansTake   @   Wed 20 Feb 1:34 PM
            • I do what I can to save birds

              For instance, I put a bell on my cat, so whenever she runs or walks, it jingles to warn the birds. Doesn’t impact my lifestyle such as not driving a car. for my large windows, I do have stained leaded decorations hanging on them. I don’t see dead birds below the window so it must be working.

              • "I don't see dead birds"

                You know where you’re also unlikely to see dead birds? At any random wind turbine made in the past few decades.

                Do birds occasionally get killed by them? Yes, but infinitely less often than windows, cars and most certainly pollution from coal plants kill them. This shit is documented, and it’s why the Audobon Society ENDORSES WIND TURBINES!

                So, stop the ridiculous concern trolling. No one believes you. (Cat bells. ROFL!)

                RyansTake   @   Thu 21 Feb 10:57 PM
                • RyansTake - simply not true, turbines kill birds in large quantity

                  Endangered hawks are killed in large numbers in Europe. If we construct Cape Wind, it may have one benefit. Instead of patrolling the beaches, the sharks will hang around the turbines and wait for a snack to fall from the sky. Strippers follow the lobster boats b/c the know small lobsters are frequently tossed overboard.

                  FYI, the only thing that comes out of a coal plant is steam and hot water.


          • Company logos don't tell you much.

            There are Toyota plants in the US after all. They still have to be installed and operated on site and I have a hard time imaging them being shipped fully assembled from overseas. You feel better knowing your money contributes to the pollution of the air and destruction of the earth? Interesting.

          • Outright lie

            There are several US manufacturers of wind turbines; General Electric is one. Do some homework.

      • LOL oh my sides

        LOLOL coal can’t be exported so dumb LOLOL make him stop

        • Do you deliberately confuse people?

          2nd time you have done this. You know the difference between outsourcing and exporting? Let me explain.

          The coal companies can’t outsource the coal jobs like your friends in the solar panel industry do, such as Evergreen Solar, b/c the coal in in the ground in the U.S.A. Evergreen Solar closed its solar mfg in Devens Ma, and shipped the jobs to China (thank you Ed Markey for voting for GATT). The coal companies need to hire Americans to dig and transport the coal from the mine. And if they sell the coal overseas or to Mexico, even better, b/c it helps lower our trade deficit.

  3. Plunderers are people too

    US foreign policy has been resisted in South America for decades, because it is focused on eradicating Coca — a staple that has been part of South American culture for thousands of years. Shall we stop that eradication effort because those coca farmers work hard and have fun at parties?

    Tobacco restrictions in the US make life difficult for American tobacco workers. Shall we ignore the public health consequences of unrestricted tobacco use to protect the jobs of those tobacco workers?

    The men pictured in your thread-starter are murderers, just as much as any terrorist. They are plundering the land, fouling the rivers and lakes for hundreds of miles around them, and killing our unborn grandchildren because of the devastating climate impacts of their labor.

    As Christopher observes, there are countless ways to more productively employ these men. If nothing else, they could be put to work tomorrow at the labor-intensive task of cleaning up the messes they have created all around them.

    I grant you that these may be very nice people. They are, nevertheless, still mercenary plunderers. Continuing to enable their violations of our planet is the very LAST thing we should be doing.

    • I would save the more extreme labels for the company owners.

      Your third paragraph above made me cringe a bit. Politically, I would actually advocate trying to bring the workers themselves to our side by pushing for strong labor organizing and insisting on the highest health and safety standards. There are more labor than management and as such coal country should be with us. That’s short term; long term we do need to phase out that industry entirely.

  4. You portray it as a choice between raping American land or raping foreign lands, and who gets the money in either choice.

    Except you don’t bother pointing out that either choice is bad for us in the short, medium and long term. You also seem to poo-poo less-damaging alternatives.

    Given the same choices you offer, but worded (appropriately, I would argue) as above, I would look for another choice.

  5. The rewards of intellectual dishonesty

    Dan’s schtick is a kind of next-quarter view of the economy.

    We can save jobs today by levying high tariffs in endangered industries, but ultimately our economy withers in a protectionist world.

    We can save jobs today by burning more coal — and perhaps sending some to Waltham as Christmas gifts. But there won’t be any jobs at all — as in zero, none — if climate change decimates the coasts, destroys agriculture, and kicks off genocidal epidemics.

    Perhaps, in 2050, when we’re poor, starving, thirsty, sick, or drowning, we can console ourselves with how witty DanFromWaltham was, how brilliantly he “won” the argument back then. Lovely tornadoes, no?

    • Again, here we go with the 50 years and we will all be dead shtick

      Please stop scaring people, you and Fenway especially, reminds me of Chicken Little. But you know what I drew out of you, you are against protecting American jobs, and favor this free trade concept with third world countries. Spoken like a true Markey supporter, throw the private sector workers out to the wolves, it is “progressive”….. Ever hear of Harley Davidson being saved when Reagan put tariffs on Japanese motorcycles. still thin its a dying industry? Hey Mark Bail, you agree with her?

      • Being breezy with the facts

        there is no need to take your objection seriously. I choose to write about you not to you.

        • Doesn't really matter kbusch, does it

          You wrote being against protecting American jobs, tariffs, “our economy withers in a protectionist world”….Reality is, in your world, the only companies that survive either have access to politicians, or move their jobs where cheap labor is, Mexico, China, etc. I do believe most voters want an America, who looks out for American jobs first. Clearly you are supporting the right candidate, Ed Markey, his votes for NAFTA and GATT back your comments. I just hope Mr. Markey doesn’t run like a coward, away from those past votes, he would disappoint you and many other free traders.

  6. Really... You use anthracite coal exclusively?

    Do you have a power plant in your basement where you source coal only from the anthracite mines in Pennsylvania? These days the amount of anthracite used in New England for power generation is minuscule if it even exists. And anyway, if you were burning coal, I WISH you were burning anthracite because it’s the most efficient coal you can burn.

    What is generally burning is bituminous coal. It’s dirtier and less efficient than anthracite, but vastly more abundant. The coal we burn in New England typically comes from the Virginias, though we have also imported it in from abroad since more of our power plants are water served than rail served.

    The thing that really bothers me about this is that if during a gun control debate, if I say magazine instead of clip or vice versa, I’m immediately disqualified from offering an opinion because I don’t know enough about guns. Yet, in the climate debate, if you betray an understanding of coal that’s stuck in the 1920s, your opinion is just as important as a NASA climate scientist’s.

    • Sco- yes, for heating my home, I use anthracite coal for the most part

      Thank you for pointing out it is very efficient way to generate heat. During the cold months of Nov-Mar, I use 99% anthracite to heat my home, instead of using my oil burner. It is a warmer heat I find, 100% American, less expensive than oil, and kinda fun to load and shake the coal. I do believe people think my chimney looks like an old 1800′s locomotive, spewing out black smoke b/c it does not. I also use electricity for the blower on my Hitzer 983 insert in order to move the heat around. Since Sept, I have used just 30 gallons of heating oil. When I open up the air vents, the coal burns with such a tremendous heat, looks like a little reactor inside the glass. And I am helping create jobs in my own country, not in Mother Russia or Saudi Arabia.

      You must have missed a post by greenmiles regarding heavy reliance on natural gas, this is a follow-up post. You are correct, anthracite is not used in power plants, it’s too expensive, so bituminous (dirty coal) is used and scrubbers are required to capture the nasties. But my insert is the best investment I have ever made, just got to get the wife to participate in emptying the ash pan.

      • Why are you talking about home heating like it's controversial, then?

        It takes the nation’s coal fired power plants about three to four hours to burn through as much coal as is used in the US for home heating in a year. No one is concerned about coal for home heating. It’s a tiny share of the market both on the production and consumption end. The CO2 output is comparable to burning wood pellets.

        Where coal is a problem is on the power generation side, where we’re burning through millions of tons a day, putting all that carbon that was sequestered long ago back into the atmosphere.

  7. I'm not buying the romance, Dan

    Here’s a photo of my great grampa, on the right. The text underneath notes that as of that date, he’d been working in the coal mines (in and around Carbondale, PA, outside Scranton) for sixty-five years

    The copy includes these gems:

    These records show that age does not mean idleness but some new form of activity, and many who have experience, but no longer exuberant vigor, find opportunity and even distinction in minor bossing jobs inside or outside the mines, for the industry has no dead-end jobs nor jobs that end with a sudden jolt from relative comfort to a penurious jobless old age…. The active life is rough, it is true, but moving air in the mines is conducive to good health and vigor; so men of years are not few. The companies take pride in finding places suited to their declining years…

    Only a writer sitting in a comfy downtown office could write propagandistic drivel like that.
    Only someone who hasn’t worked in the mines would play the noble, [much-put-upon-but-nonetheless-proud]-savage card. You remind me of all those damn car and beer commercials I have to sit through during football season, all of which equate Real American-ism with brawny white guys doing something or other, as often as not involving cattle, in their mud-spattered pick-ups, or else celebrating the end of an honest day’s work sucking down some godawful excuse for beer in a honkey-tonk tended by bevies of suspiciously lovely and friendly barmaids.
    I think maybe you watch too much TV.

    My great-grandfather–who raised my dad–was apparently a pretty impressive guy. When he was done with his shift, he’d walk home and tend to what apparently a very serious garden. My dad recalls walking the streets with him with a barrow loaded with produce. He’d go to certain houses to give it away. I’m pretty sure, Dan, you can guess why.

    As for that moving air, my grandmother wound up collecting black lung payments for many years.

    My dad took a long, hard look at his prospects and decided that freezing his butt off on the East German border was preferable. And afterwards settling in New Jersey. I don’t think he ever had any regrets. Even about Jersey.

    What bothers me most about this post of yours, Dan, is your reducing a huge swath of America to a stereotype, Not necessarily a negative one, but completely reductive nonetheless. It doesn’t pay to glamorize either people or jobs.

    And you are just as reductive when it comes to Markey supporters with your malarkey about “throwing workers to the wolves.” For goddsake, re-read that paragraph I quoted above–these guys were wholly at the mercy of wolves (and a press that seemed to exist to justify the status quo)! And so are your miners today. But you are wrong to perpetuate myths about those of us who take the science seriously. I’ve insisted, over and again, to my activist friends that for every “no,” we need a “yes,” and that they need a viable plan in place to ensure the viability of a great many communities that are dependent on mining.

    In the meantime, here’s a nice slideshow which provides some clues as to exactly what you’re supporting in your pimping coal. It ain’t the workers.

    • Michael- best comment I have read

      Lots of emotions went through my head, anger over black lung, poor people relying on your grandpa for food, the pride you must have in your grandpa for the compassion he showed to people in need, and I am sure he wasn’t in financial position to help, but did it anyway. Remarkable person, he was. I am sure his name is being passed on from generation to generation.

      The pics of the people suffering from black lung are heart-wrenching. I thought the industry had it under control, why the numbers were dropping but now I read they are increasing. I would spend taxpayer dollars, yes even tax increases, to research and prevent this from happening, better filters or masks and required wearing even if outside the mountain, just clearing the top. 50% of our energy comes from coal, we need it. I look at these workers as ones to be admired, they are heating homes and generating electricity for half of America. Personally, I have a choice, heat with oil or burn anthracite coal. I feel better burning the coal for reasons already stated. More should do the same.

      Thanks for the read.

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