Harry Reid spoke bluntly on energy issues the other day.
Looking the Faux and Balanced cameras square on, he spoke truth:
Coal makes us sick ...
This is an important statement.
Reid is speaking truth to an audience that isn't used to hearing it.
Speaking in association with a major solar event, the starting of the production line of Ausra's solar thermal manufacturer center, Reid was challenged about the costs of solar, that according to misguided economic analysis, coal electricity is less expensive than the just rising concentrated solar thermal power generation.
We talk about cost competitiveness, but the one thing that we fail to talk about are those costs that you don't see on the bottom line ...
Sing it, Harry. Praise the truth.
In fact, Harry, as you're aware, many of do speak of these costs. But, you weren't necessarily speaking with those who've been residing in reality.
These "external" costs are serious and seriously mislabeled as "external." To paraphrase Al Gore, this is the air that my, your, our children, and we are breathing and the water we are all drinking. That sounds pretty internal to me. How about you?
Costs that you don't see on the bottom line ...
that is ...
Coal makes us sick.
- 24,000 people a year die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants. And every year 38,000 heart attacks, 12,000 hospital admissions and an additional 550,000 asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.
- Mercury contamination is so widespread that one out of every six pregnant women have mercury levels in their blood high enough for levels in the fetus to reach or surpass the EPA's safety threshold for mercury. ... Smokestack emissions from coal-fired power plants are the primary source of mercury pollution ...
It's ruining our country.
It's ruining our world.
Harry is speaking truth.
And, do you hear pleading in this strong statement, a plea for people to hear truth?
We've got to stop using fossil fuel. We've, for generations, taken carbon out of the earth and put it in the atmosphere. It's making us all sick.
It's changing our world.
Harry is simply speak truth, truth to a difficult audience and an audience that wants to ridicule rather than listen.
Senate Republicans are sending around this video as part of an effort to make Democrats appear out of touch on the need to produce more energy and drill more oil wells.
That's right, the one speaking truth is the one "out of touch" with reality. The Republicans will continue their efforts to dig the hole deeper with the dishonest "Drill Here! Drill Now! Pay Less!" 20 years from now (a few cents less). They will continue to fight, it seems clear, any and all efforts to turn the nation toward a better, more sensible path forward.
These are not Harry's first strong words related to Global Warming.
Nor are they likely to be the last.
But, these words (and my read of Harry's passion) give me hope that Harry Reid will be taking the fight to get serious action moving on smarter energy policy and a (much) better global warming bill than the failed Boxer-Lieberman-Warner in partnership with President Obama. To develop policies that will fight global warming while strengthening the economy.
"The evidence for the consequences of global warming is appearing with alarming frequency. [The] headlines are filled with tales of deadly weather." Amid Global Boiling, the heat is on.
And, Give 'em Hell Harry Reid is turning up the heat.