Don’t Worry: Republican Party Officially Reassures America That Coal Is “Clean”

Take comfort in the power of magical thinking

Coal-powered electric plant (Getty Images)

On the heels of the Democratic party working out their strongest-ever position on climate change, the Republicans opted for a hardline stance in the opposite direction Tuesday. At a policy meeting in advance of next week’s Republican National Convention, the RNC unanimously approved this position on coal: “It’s an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable, domestic energy resource.”

Adding “clean” to the Republican vision board was a last-minute tweak by delegate David Barton, who said it should be added “particularly because [of] the technology we have now.”

Barton is surely responding to the coal industry’s relentless spin over the last decade, giving America that if-it-seems-too-good-to-be-true assurance that coal’s nastiness has been tidied up. Though technology has improved coal emissions some, “clean coal” is largely a myth (albeit one that Obama bought into for a minute).

Coal—you are excused for marveling that we’re even having this discussion in 2016—has become an exceedingly divisive partisan issue in recent years. In 2012, the Republican-controlled House passed the cutely named “Stop the War on Coal Act”, which would essentially have revoked the EPA’s power to regulate coal mining operations and coal-fired power plants. (The bill never made it through the Democrat-controlled Senate.)

The arguments against the “war on coal” include defense of coal industry jobs and lower energy costs. The argument for the war (if you want to characterize the embrace of cleaner energy as a war) is simple—for all the incremental improvements the industry has made, coal is still a pretty nasty piece of business. Coal power plants continue to be the biggest contributor to carbon emissions (and global warming) in the United States.

It’s also worth noting Trump’s blustery climate change position here. A remarkable report from the Sierra Club last week noted that, of the 195 other countries recognized by the U.S. State Department, not one of the leaders is a climate change denier. Ladies and gentlemen, our potential future president:


We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

Keep Reading Show less

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less