Originally Posted by kytroutman
The low cost of coal is what provides the low cost electricity for our computers and internet access. Blue gem coal (from E TN and SE KY) is used in the production of semi-conductors used in our computers. While this is a terrible environmental tragedy, it will be monitored and it will be cleaned up. Without the use of coal and the resulting low cost electricity, much of the economy in the south and southeastern US would be non-existent. Just my two cents worth and no, I don't work in coal or TVA.
I think there is truth to what you say. But other economies in other states get by fine without coal. And the amount of coal used in the production of semiconductors is quite negligible when compared with the amounts used in power generation.
As we lose blue collar jobs to poor people overseas (Chinese) the pressure to race to the bottom will continue. Some folks around here will claim our environmental restrictions are already too strong (which is why Bush fought hard to roll back decades-old environmental restrictions on coal plants), and then claim that we'll need to mirror the Chinese with their nearly absent environmental laws, so we can be just like them.
This controversy comes from 2 opposing world views. Your view can be that we should push economic growth as fast as possible and to heck with the consequences (China), or you can have a slow growth economy, but with a healthier and happier people (Europe). America is somewhere between those, which is good enough I guess. I'd prefer that we spend more money on clean things, and less on our McMansions and Hummers.