#ByeByeTom Tom Corbett, the “War On Coal,” Saving Lives and Climate Denialism

President Obama took one of the largest steps on combating climate change?  Huh?  That means it’s time for Governor Tom Corbett to cue the Remember the Alamo War on Coal rhetoric that got Tom Smith elected to the Senate and Mitt Romney to the White House.  Oh wait, that didn’t work to well in 2012 for Republican candidates.  After President Obama announced new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that will reduce our 2005 based carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, Governor Tom Corbett went on to the offensive with a loudspeaker in hand shouting “WAR ON COAL! WAR ON COAL!,” and while Governor Corbett is yelling nonsense, he is trying to link Tom Wolf to President Obama’s coal killing nonsense.   These regulations will pave the way for natural gas as being the bridge fuel to nowhere the future, and, hopefully, more renewable energy.

In a press release issued by Governor Corbett’s job search committee campaign, Governor Corbett claimed “President Obama and Tom Wolf would both support a cap-and-trade tax on our energy sector that would jeopardize over 62,000 Pennsylvania coal jobs,” and went to say “Pennsylvania is the country’s fourth-leading coal producer, and if President Obama and Tom Wolf had their way, they would be handing out pink slips to 62,000 Pennsylvanians,” and was followed up by “Tom Wolf has a very clear choice here – he can continue to side with President Obama’s war on coal that will put Pennsylvanians out of work, or he can side with 62,000 Pennsylvanians employed as a result of our coal industry.”

Because ya know, jobs, jobs, jobs.  According to the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, Pennsylvania’s coal industry provides 41,577 direct and indirect jobs.  The PA Coal Alliance states that these jobs numbers were from the latest available dataset, which was from 2008.  A 2006 dataset from the EIA, which was cited on Sourcewatch, claims that there were only 7,500 coal jobs.  So 62,000 jobs?  Where is that number coming from?

While Governor Corbett can claim that this will cut 62,000 jobs, these regulations will save lives.  The Washington Post is reporting that these regulations will ” cut traditional air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and soot by 25 percent,” and prevent “2,700 to 6600 premature deaths avoided and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks a year avoided.”  Yes that’s 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks a YEAR.

This “War on Coal” nonsense coming from Governor Corbett is brought by two things: the amount of money he has gotten from the fossil fuels industry and his ongoing climate denialism.  In 2010,  Governor Corbett took over $900,000 in contributions from the fossil fuels industry. The last motive behind this press release is the governor’s ongoing climate denialism.  Governor Corbett placed two open climate deniers to head the Department of Environmental protection, and has used the “well, the climate is always changing” and “there isn’t a scientific consensus” on climate change.



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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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