“I will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. And that (coal) plant, that (coal) plant kills people!”
That was Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2003, bravely standing up against a dirty coal plant that, yes, kills people. Like many other coal plants and coal landfills. Here’s more of what he had to say about sticking it to coal plants, saying they either had to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and mercury and more, or else get out of the way for renewable energy:
SALEM – Pledging to make clean air and public health a priority, Governor Mitt Romney today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has rejected a request by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to delay tough new regulations aimed at cleaning up one of the state’s oldest and dirtiest power plants.
Romney said that he and Doug Foy, Chief of Commonwealth Development, personally informed PG&E executives earlier this week of the DEP decision to deny their request for a two-year extension on the clean up of the Salem Harbor plant, encouraging them instead to convert the Salem Harbor power plant to cleaner energy.
“If the choice is between dirty power plants or protecting the health of the people of Massachusetts, there is no choice in my mind,” said Romney. “I will always come down on the side of public health.” Romney noted that strict regulations at the so-called “Filthy Five” power plants were first outlined in 2001 to bring the facilities in line with emission standards for newer plants. The standards, designed to fight air pollution and reduce pollutants that contribute to acid rain, haze and global climate changed, called for significant reductions in nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and mercury at the six plants.
Romney said that the Salem Harbor plant is responsible for 53 premature deaths, 570 emergency room visits and 14,400 asthma attacks each year. He also pointed out that coal and oil fired plants contribute significantly more air pollution than their gas fired counterparts, exacerbating acid rain and global warming.
In order to protect the public health, Romney said he will “enforce without compromise” the regulations.
“These regulations will help clean the air for Massachusetts’ citizens, improving their health and creating a better living situation,” said Doug Foy, Chief of Commonwealth Development.
Funny, I’ve never even heard Barack Obama use language that strong and righteous when it comes to the health hazard that is coal pollution.
Gov. Romney also pushed for categorizing carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and a cap-and-trade policy for Massachusetts.
Even many years later when he was running for president (and flip flopping on everything he’s ever said or said he believed in), he still agreed that climate change is real, and mankind is causing it with the greenhouse gases of our precious Kentucky coal:
All of which makes the recent news that Kentucky’s No. 1 propagandist of King Coal, Alliance Resources Partners CEO Joe Craft, is holding a big fundraiser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign here in Kentucky rather odd, no?
I mean sure, Mitt Romney will flip flop on all of his positions on how coal is poison and causing climate change and how carbon dioxide should be regulated, because that’s what he’s done on almost every issue. In fact, in convenient timing, Romney flipped on climate change just one day prior to this fundraiser being announced.
But still, isn’t it funny that Joe Craft is going to raise millions of dollars for someone who has been on the wrong side of the “war on coal” for the past decade? Who hasn’t been afraid to tell the truth about coal plants killing people, and causing climate change? Along with Hal Rogers and Ed Whitfield, too?
Craft either has some kind of angle here, or he’s suddenly become self-loathing.