US Coal industry under attack -do they need the Molly Maguires?
By: Ed Farnan | Published Thursday, December 15, 2011, 11:30 AM | Updated Sunday, August 4, 2013, 5:37 AM
The American coal industry, which fostered the beginnings of Irish American muscle in the the labor movement, is under assault. In the 1860-70's early Irish Americans shed blood in the battle for workers rights, workers safety, unionization and collective bargaining in those coal fields. Today some people in the industry think there needs to be a modern day version of the secret society known as the Molly Maguires, to defend their livelihood and the nations main source of energy.
But this time the threat to their livelihoods, way of life and standard of living, is not at the hands of a cold-hearted industrialist, but at the hands of government regulation designed to crush their industry.
Back in the 1860-70's Irish Catholic immigrants, fresh off the boat, flocked to the coal fields of Pennsylvania where they toiled in hard scrabble unsafe existences to eke out a living. Exploited by unscrupulous mine owners, the Molly Maguires rose up amongst the Irish ranks and battled back, which finally lead to organizing and unionization http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Maguires
Today's conditions in our nations coal fields and mines are infinitely safer and wages have risen to make it an honorable occupation. Many say these positive changes in the coal industry stem from the battles of the Irish Molly Maguires.
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President Obama said, as candidate Obama, he was going to necessarily make energy prices skyrocket. Maybe most Americans were not aware of that statement, or the main stream media didn't widely report it, but the President was serious when he said this. The President said one of the ways he was going to make energy prices skyrocket, was to attack the very core of Americas power source: Coal
President Obama said that he wouldn't outlaw coal but he would make it so prohibitively expensive to burn coal as a power source, it would "necessarily bankrupt them to build a coal fired power plant. New EPA regulations will force a significant number of coal-fired power plants to close, resulting in a major reduction in electricity supply.
Interestingly enough it is estimated America has a 500 year supply of coal. Over the last 30 years, contrary to popular belief, the air in North America has gotten cleaner. Advances in scrubbing technology in power plants and new efficiencies have made the environment cleaner, not more polluted.
The Presidents attack on the coal industry is meaning a loss of jobs for hardworking Americans in an industry that supplies the fuel for almost 50% of the nations power. This attack is also making Americans utility prices rise at a time when many are out of work or under employed.
Americans are subsidizing alternative energy experiments(Solyndra) to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, which are put in your taxes and heaped on top of your already expensive utility bills.
Is it time for a modern day version of the Molly Maguires to say enough?
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