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AL Officials: Coal Plant Regulation Violates God’s Will

From the same people who brought you “global warming isn’t real because God controls the climate” comes a group of elected officials in Alabama who held a press conference to say that EPA rules regulating pollution from coal plants violate God’s will because he gave coal to the state.

The EPA announced in June its intent to implement new standards meant to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Such emissions are among the biggest contributors to global warming. According to EPA documents, the proposal would require Alabama to lower emissions from its coal-fired plants by 27 percent from 2012 levels.

A spokesman for Alabama Power Co., which has six coal-fired plants in the state, has said it’s too soon to know what action the utility would have to take to meet the new standards.

At their news conference today Cavanaugh and PSC commissioner-elect Chip Beeker invoked the name of God in stating their opposition to the EPA proposal. Beeker, a Republican who is running unopposed for a PSC seat, said coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.

“Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?” he said.

Cavanaugh called on the people of the state to ask for God’s intervention.

“I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done,” she said.

Pollution from coal plants causes serious problems, both for the environment and for public health. It’s especially bad for children who live nearby, who suffer from far higher rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases. But hey, fuck them. If they wanted to breathe, they should have stayed as fetuses and then the Christian right would still give a shit about them.

Comments

  1. scienceavenger says

    I believe it was Jared Diamond in Guns Germs and Steel who noted that of all our industries, the ones most populated with fundamentalists were the mining industries. They think God put all that there specifically for us to go get. These Alabama goofballs may not be the outlier, but the norm.

  2. vmanis1 says

    I am beginning to wonder whether these clowns are Poes of the highest order. Obviously, a belief that God doesn’t mind environmental hazards that kill people and fetuses (aka `preborn persons’ in wingnutspeak) has to be completely idiotic. Much as though when I was little, I might have countered my parents’ increasingly urgent demands that I clean up my room with `God wants my room to look like a natural disaster’, these folk seem to emit more and more ridiculous assertions about God’s Will.

    I am certain that this thread will eventually include references to Sky Fairy, Thor, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In general, the Alabama Loons and their ilk simply make those Christians who believe that environmental responsibility is their moral duty look silly. Thus many people end up throwing out babies and bathwater. And of course one who is not a Christian but does support environmental regulation can now feel superior to those silly polluting Christians.[*]

    I would challenge everyone to see where they can find like-minded people, regardless of their metaphysical beliefs, and not fall into the `babies == bathwater’ trap. What’s wrong with these folks is not their belief in God or in Jesus (being a non-Christian, I am always unsure of whether those two are supposed to be the same), but their apparent acceptance of environment degradation.

    [*] This is not a `no true Scotsman’ claim: rather, it seems sadly clear that professing {Christianity|Judaism|Islam|Wicca|Hinduism|…} in no way guarantees any notions of environmental responsibility any more than asserting atheist beliefs does.

  3. D. C. Sessions says

    God also gave Alabama lead. That being the case, they should distribute it to all of the State’s citizens in the air as well.

  4. lldayo says

    I guess these people wouldn’t mind if I dug up their yard claiming Gawd put it the dirt there specifically for me to take. Or maybe I just walk around with an industrial vacuum and suck all of the breathable air away from them. It’s mine! The Bible says so! I dunno…somewhere in the back.

  5. cry4turtles says

    Here in PA, we have signs that proclaim, “Support coal”. Not all Pennsylvanians are as thick as a brick (of coal), but the designers of those signs could fall from 100 stories, on their heads, and walk away.

  6. says

    It’s especially bad for children who live nearby, who suffer from far higher rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases. But hey, fuck them. If they wanted to breathe, they should have stayed as fetuses and then the Christian right would still give a shit about them.

    If God didn’t want them exposed to coal plant pollution, He wouldn’t have Created them downwind, down river, or poor.

  7. dugglebogey says

    One could argue that God stuck that coal deep in the ground and that you should leave it down there.

  8. alanb says

    I have spent the past 10 minutes trying to figure out how one gets from “coal was created in Alabama by God” to it being “God’s plan” to use it however a small group of people want to regardless of how it affects their neighbors or the rest of the World. So far, I’m still stuck in that logic maze and am worrying that I may never get out.

    By the way, Alabama produces only 1.9% of the nation’s coal so I doubt that they only use locally-harvested produce.

  9. busterggi says

    “Who has the right to take what God’s given”

    Let’s see, god gave penises and anuses also…

  10. felidae says

    I think its god’s plan the he buried coal deep in the ground so that it would stay there

  11. universalanimosity says

    If god didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, why’d he put it in the garden? Only three options exist:

    1. He secretly did want them to eat the fruit because he enjoyed the thought of punishing mankind. This makes him a sadist.

    2. He didn’t want us to eat the fruit in which case “God put it there.” is not a sufficient argument for using a natural substance. This undercuts their logic entirely.

    3. The story never happened and god either doesn’t exist, or he does but the bible is not literally true.

    Also, couldn’t this same argument be made for cannabis? God put the marijuana plant here for us to use, and nowhere in the bible does it say anything against its use. Why, then, are so many fundamentalist Christians opposed to smoking pot?

  12. says

    @ alanb

    I have spent the past 10 minutes trying to figure out how one gets from “coal was created in Alabama by God” to it being “God’s plan” to use it however a small group of people want to regardless of how it affects their neighbors or the rest of the World. So far, I’m still stuck in that logic maze and am worrying that I may never get out.

    In Christianity, there is the concept of “stewardship.” Most of the liberal denominations take that as meaning that we should take care of the world, so conservation and environmental awareness are compatible with those forms of Christianity. In the fundy world, “stewardship” means permission to exploit.

    Humpty Dumpty was a Christian apologist.

  13. says

    They’re absolutely right. God gave us this land for us to use as we see fit. That’s why we kicked all the natives who were living here out.

  14. Loqi says

    Yeah, god gave us coal so we could burn it without restriction. Likewise, god gave us cannabis so we could burn it without restriction.

    What do you mean that’s totally different?

  15. Michael Heath says

    What would be even more surprising is to encounter a cogent argument that global warming is not a threat. To date every single one I’ve encountered was at best, idiotic.

  16. says

    Man, coal sure has turned Alabama into a wealthy place. Just as it has with W. Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and central Pennsylvania. Is there no limit to the riches that this wondrous black rock bestows on the people lucky enough to live near it?

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