Pennsylvania Government Must Shift the Energy Market

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Is shifting from oil to other energy sources a national priority?

Total votes: 36

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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 1:15 pm

We need the intervention of the state government to save the coal region's economy.

In Western Europe, all the private iron mines got outsourced to other countries. But in Sweden the government made a special investment, and installed equipment that cut costs down alot. The equipment also changed production to a new kind of iron pellets that were in high demand. Sweden's iron mines are government owned, highly profitable, and the only iron mines still operating in Western Europe.

We don't need to rely on Texas oil companies supplying us from the Middle East. America must switch to other energy sources, but corporations won't do it because of short term losses. A change in the market from Mideast oil to US resources would be too costly for a handful of private companies to accomplish.

The coal region has the highest unemployment in the state, and costs are very low. These are perfect conditions for efficient production.

We are sitting on the motherload of black diamonds. The Pennsylvania state government needs to own, invest, transform, and operate coal mines so we can make a comeback.

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 3:10 pm

I agree about moving away from oil but I would really hate see my tax dollars invested into yet another govermnet program that is doomed to fail considering the track record of state run business. Let's take the Turnpike for example, Pennsylvania is in a big hurry to sell it off yet they have numerous companies that are interested in it. Obviously there must be profit to be made there why can't the State...

I don't even like seeing my tax dollars used to subsidize business at all, let business prosper or fail whatever it may be. We nned less government invovlement in business not more.
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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 5:46 pm

The Pennsylvania state government needs to own, invest, transform, and operate coal mines so we can make a comeback.
I couldn't disagree more. The government needs to have less say in our lives, not more. Remember - the government makes more off a gallon of gas than the oil companies and in my state (New York) they make a percentage from a gallon. The more $ a barrel of oil or gallon of gas, the more $ NY makes.
I really don't want Pa getting their hands on black diamonds anymore than black gold.

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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 6:36 pm

I don't think the government should own, or operate any businesses.

However we could stand to have the government help make it more attractive to investors to spend the $$ needed to get the ball rolling toward energy independance.

We can make diesel from algae, fortified with CO2 from coal burning plants, The ash makes a great addittive to concrete, the heat is used to make electricity.. But it takes $$ and the government to back off on some of the rediculous paperwork and treadmills that a bussiness must wade through and run on before even getting started.

If the Government would just back off some, we would be much better off.

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Charlie Z
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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 8:53 pm

Our ethanol policy is a good example of intervention:

- 7 gallons of petoleum required to make 8 gal of corn ethanol

- Ethanol costs $4/gallon and provides ~1/2 the energy of gasoline.

- Corn ethanol will never have the ability to become significant due to low energy content and the scale required; it's a pipe dream.

- Higher yielding sugar cane doesn't grow in Iowa and we don't have $1/hr ag labor, so we're not going to find Brazil's ethanol program as the model.

- Sugar beets can yield more ethanol, but the government doesn't sponsor their use for energy because table sugar prices, supported by 30-year old government sugar cartel tariffs and market protections pays 2x as much as ethanol.

I didn't move over to coal because I like black rocks. Last year's $300/mo. oil bills got my attention and anthracite is relatively clean and has good math.

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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 9:55 pm

Interesting debate, discussion, and sugestions from 0.00000001% of the American public (people) if we could just get more involvement we might get somewhere.
...In all seriousness, from big oil, to coal production, to turnpikes & thruways...I will say things MUST CHANGE. A state owned entity sold to and operated by a private interest? Sounds like in principle it goes against our American constitution and way of life. State government owning and operating coal production? Not as good an idea as the people of the state owning it (perhaps financed by charter funds as a co-op coporation serving those that should be served: The people).
..."Big Oil" (or should I say the 'Wal-Mart' of dinasaur goo), is not the sole source of the problem...our government is. If you look back over the years from the 70's,80's,90's until today...our government should have acted when it had the chance. People came up with ideas for wind, water, and sun...and the government did nothing to back it. But then again if Reagan proposed a 'tariff' on oil back in say that it could never be made at an artificially low price (which the Saudi's did by flooding the market) Would the American people have supported either him or the proposal? If there were a tariff...and the money was to be used to fund 'alternative energy' Would anyone actually have had faith the money would be spent by our government where it should be?
The biggest problem in this country today is our government no longer serves who it should: the serves itself. It is a 'fat-self feeding out of control monster consuming everything in it's path'.
How do you START to fix it? DEMAND CHANGE! First an amendment to the constitution "...the government of the people shall not recognize, council, console or act as an instrument of, by any means, solicited or otherwise any group, power, orginization or CORPORATION that does not specifically act in a manner solely benefitial to the good of the United States and it's citizens entirely"...In other words no more CORPORATE LOBBYING! A coporation is not a person and should not be given the same freedoms as one. They want a say in OUR government? Let them pay their entry's called TAXES! (2003 taxes collected by US Government: 90% private income tax vs 4% corporate taxes).
Second fix: Back to the basics: Good ole' fashion American "TRUST BUSTING". First target-WALMART, then Exxon Mobil, then AT&T (again)! Slap them back down to earth and back down to size...and tell them to 'play nice' or it is off to the corner with a cookie.
I'm sorry if I sound like a "whack-job" but I miss the good old fashioned American way of life: A forty hour work week(with overtime paid after 40hrs), working at a job with the hope of a pension that isn't going to "evaporate" if the stock market takes a hit(a private job...not a government one), being able to go to a locally owned store(and be able to talk to the owner...who speaks fluent english), having to call for "customer service"(and actually being able to speak to someone...and that someone was actually here in the US), buying something MADE IN AMERICA (even actually assembled here a sticker just slapped on doesn't count)...back when a business deal was 'signed' with a handshake (not written in stone 683 ways to Sunday by a team of lawyers @600/hr)
Shall I go on? NO (i'm seeing red) So just call me crazy to want back what my parents and grandparents had.
Why am I so vocal??? (George Carlin gives some insight) Because you and I OWN this country not the slimy roaches that run it right now.

I'm just going to go "wait for the helicopters to escort the limo to come 'take me out' now"...I might have upset the 'orginization'. (LOL) :lol:

Am I the only one who feels this way? :cry: Or is there some truth to what I have said? :?:

My apologies to anyone who might be offended...But I think this country is worth saving!

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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 10:34 pm

Charlie Z Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:53 pm Post subject:


I didn't move over to coal because I like black rocks. Last year's $300/mo. oil bills got my attention and anthracite is relatively clean and has good math.
...I could'n have put it any better! :wink:
But how long until this (coal) gets messed with?
Somehow if the government intervened in the coal arena...I think they would ultimately become a hinderance.
Unfortunately coal has a checkered past..."You burn coal? How can that be any better than wood? What about all the soot?" (How many times have we all heard it?) "Clean Coal Technology" you have probably seen the comercials on TV (the kid sitting in his house talking into the camera about power from coal)? They advocate for the big utilities...not us little guys. If greenpeace, the sierra club or any of the other 'tree huggers' get involved and start throwing mud...heaven help us all!
We all need to be 'abassadors' to the value of Anthracite coal. Something to think of if your kid wants a good idea for his science or history class.

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Post Mon. Feb. 12, 2007 10:44 pm

Keyman512us, first off never ever appologize for what you believe in. Second, you are not the whack job, the whack job would be those affended by your comments. Thirdly, you want proof that govt shouldn't be in private business. US Postal Service. We pay the cheapest rates in the world, and the employees have the best benefits with guaranteed pensions. Why, because the postal service was privatized years ago. It is the only government agency that is self supportive. It costs the tax payers nothing. The answer is never to look to the government to fix something in the private sector. Like my father brought us up to believe, If you want something bad enough then you'll do it yourself, you won't depend on somebody else to do it for you.

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Post Tue. Feb. 13, 2007 3:14 am

:lol: 2 votes for no... I'll assume they are no votes for the governement intervention solution proposed by rakovsky . I voted yes for the question but would vote no for the proposed solution.
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Post Wed. Feb. 14, 2007 9:04 pm

Amtrak is a prime example of what happens when government tries to take over a business.

Strange coincidence that it was run by a man who royally F'ed up the state I live in! :lol:

Must be the Mass. water ... he thought HE (like Kerry) could run for President, and that people would vote for him! :shock: He couldn't get elected for dog catcher!! (also, like Kerry!!)

I fondly remember the bumper stickers that were created to slam his slogan: NOT making it in Massachusetts (with the thumb pointed DOWN) :toothy7:

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Post Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 6:35 am

We have big business running (and draining)this country now,I think a goverment that loves and works for ALL people will never happen under capitalism,we need a bit of all 3 isms maybe to make this place work.
The goverment can not afford anything but Haliburtons bill right now,eh?
I thought I was not going to get involved in this,could not resist.
Least Cheney :evil: is makin BIG money .
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Post Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 9:08 am

Cuba is a perfect example of what government can do to business.

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Post Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 9:57 am

Good example.

Government Does not do anything that is efficient. Look at Social Security,Medicare,Welfare, just to name a few. Take Welfare recipients. They receive about 26 cents on the dollar. The rest is used to run this program.

If you want some Socialism or communism for comparison, look at Europe where the unemployment rate is around 14 percent and the price of gas is through the roof and their economy is struggling.
Capitalism is what built and made this country. Why would anyone want to change it to something that has been proven not to work.
More Big Government is not the solution to the problem...(It is the problem.)
We already have a little Socialism here and that is what prohibits us from being even greater than we are. If government would just get out of the way, there is no limit to what could be accomplished.

Oh and by the way... The Constitution was designed to (protect our people from an overbearing government), not protect the government from the people.
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Post Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 10:08 am

In case you failed to notice,business' big or small is what creates jobs for most of us, this country was built on just that.

A Government that loves all the people? Like China,North Korea, Cuba, England ( with their smoke free zones ), or just about all of Europe? You have to get permission to pass gas!

If you look around, every country has some folks that get more than their share of the "cream off the top", it's a lot worse in most other county's than it is here.

If the Libs in this country had their way none of us would be burning coal of any kind! Period.

If these so called perfect Governments exist, why aren't people lining up for one way tickets?


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Post Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 12:44 pm

Have any of you who live outside of PA ever seen the destruction created by strip mining?

In the *good old days* coal mining was done by building tunnels. ( sorry for stating the obvious ) . But today, the earth is stripped from above, dug into like a child digs a hole in the sand on the wet beach.

I am not economics professor but I do know private enterprise is out for one thing. To make $$$. Why should private enterprise reap the benefits of PA land owned by the state? Even if they purchase the land, does that give the the right to destroy it? Yes, I know they fill the land back in, and this allows all of the weed trees to fill in the open areas in a few years. But rules & barriers need to be put in place without Lobbyist buying off the politicians.

PA is too small of a state to tear apart for it's anthracite. States out west with vast open area have MUCH more bituminous coal. Industry has to discover ways of harvesting this fuel source as an alternative. The amount of known bituminous in the US as compared to the known amount of anthracite coal in PA & WV is much greater. TX holds the largest deposits.

See my link below. This is a satellite imagery of the top of a mountain in Jim Thorpe, PA ruined by strip mining. I've been up there. It is horrible, the way the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co left this area. The pits are filled with tainted water. Most oaks are gone. Weed trees have moved in. And the pits remain today. It's actually a dangerous area to hike.
**Broken Link(s) Removed**[ If you have trouble loading, go to:
Use the following lats & longs
75.80542 ]

I do believe we need to seek alternative fuel sources. I do believe there are many high tech choices. Choices some of us may not be aware are available.

I'm not pro or con govt intervention. But we need to be careful how we go about harvesting any natural resource anywhere in the USA. Like the song sings, " This land is your land, this land is my land ".
Last edited by Cap on Mon. Feb. 19, 2007 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Lehigh Twp.
Northampton Co., PA

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