Video: Del. David Toscano Demolishes "War on Coal" Nonsense; $1/2 BILLION in Coal Subsidies

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Check out Del. David Toscano's excellent speech yesterday on Virginia's utterly wasteful coal tax credits (aka, taxpayer-funded corporate welfare on a massive scale) and the brain-dead rhetoric about a supposed "war on coal." Next time you hear Republicans and fossil fuel industry flacks blabbering on about the "free market," "Obama's war on coal," and other nonsense, just tell them to watch this speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the House:I listened carefully yesterday as the gentleman from Salem detailed the shuttering of the corporate offices of Norfolk Southern in Roanoke. This is an important issue to him and everyone in his community. Any jobs lost in a community have a great impact.  Let me be perfectly clear. No one can be pleased with this decision. But let us not make more of this than it is. This is not a decision about coal and does not involve the so called "war on coal."  It is more about economics and the private decision of a private corporation.
Just two days ago, CNBC reported that Norfolk Southern was bullish about the United States economy. According to this report, Norfolk Southern believes their profits will be boosted in 2015 because the U.S. economy is improving. As its CEO said, "we feel good about the state of the economy."  There was nothing about coal in this announcement. And the letter from Norfolk Southern announcing their corporate restructuring said it was designed to "foster department synergies"   and "streamline management."  There was nothing in this letter about coal.
It is interesting, then, that as soon as the announcement of the Norfolk Southern decision hit, Congressional Republicans Morgan Griffith and Robert Goodlatte immediately began referring to this as a by-product of the so called "war on coal."  The talking heads were out with a vengeance.  But is there really a war on coal?