Do you think that solar and wind generation are only competitive because they are heavily subsidized? Don’t think the US coal industry is heavily subsidized?
Take a look at this investigative report from Howard Berkes and Ellen Smith. Here is the heart of their story:
A joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News found that thousands of mine operators fail to pay safety penalties, even as they continue to manage dangerous — and sometimes deadly — mining operations. Most unpaid penalties are between two and 10 years overdue; some go back two decades. And federal regulators seem unable or unwilling to make mine owners pay.
Our joint investigation looked at 20 years of federal mine data through the first quarter of 2014, including details about fines, payments, violations and injuries. We used raw Department of Labor data and delinquency records provided by the Mine Safety and Health Administration to calculate the number of injuries and injury rates, and violations and gravity of violations, at mines with delinquent penalties while they were delinquent.
Coal that “keeps your lights on” is subsidized by millions of dollars in unpaid fines that your tax dollars fund, as well as the lives of miners who die needlessly in outlaw mining operations that the US government allows to keep mining coal. And this subsidy is paid in human lives and injuries, year in and year out.
How can anyone say that WV’s 96% coal-fired electricity is “cheap”?