Gov. John Kasich is on record supporting burning more dirty, climate changing coal to prevent miners losing their cold, damp, dark, dangerous, underground jobs that at best pay median wages.

“We are going to continue to work on cleaning coal, but I want to tell you, we are going to dig it, we are going to clean it, and we are going to burn it in Ohio, and we are not going to apologize for it,” he said in 2012 at an energy conference, The Hill reported.

The governor’s campaign website does not have a page detailing his viewpoint or plans for the environment. What he does say, though, pretty much lines up with President Obama’s “all of the above” approach. The “Kasich Action Plan” says he “encourages more energy production from a broad base of sources.” As with most topics he’s both for it and against it. “At the same time we need environmental regulations that strike the right balance between needed protection and the need for jobs,” he says, hedging his bets.

During last Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate and slugfest, held in North Charleston, South Carolina, Ohio’s twice-elected and now term-limited governor again came out swinging for fracking, a method that taps deep-strata natural gas formations by injecting a cocktail of pressurized toxic chemicals that are known to cause earthquakes where earthquakes normally don’t occur. But for Ohio’s fracking jobs, Mr. Kasich’s job creation numbers would be worse than they are.

Coal Man Kasich

According to The Ohio Coal Association, Ohio’s coal industry employs about 3,000 individuals directly with indirect jobs created at a ratio of 11-1. Gov. Kasich often talks about the dilemma of workers in their 50s losing their jobs, wondering what to do next. His solution is to get new training for different jobs, which sounds sound but is hard in light of Ohio’s maze of public job training programs that is little better today than when the 63-year old took over in 2010. And if President Kasich gets his way, spending on the Workforce Investment Act would come to a halt, as he promises to stop all discretionary spending to balance the federal budget in eight years even though he provides no details. WIA spends federal funds to bring workers to private sector employers. Kasich would force those employers to shoulder those costs again.

So to protect the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs in human history, Gov. Kasich eschews new, clean, safe, above-ground, renewable energy jobs that pay living wages. He’s gone so far as to freeze Ohio’s nation-leading, bi-partisan energy portfolio standards, made possible through the application of sound, verifiable science that is creating tens of thousands of jobs with the promise to create even more as others pivot to a bright, clean-energy future.

The news reported last Friday by the AP that the Obama administration will begin a moratorium on any major new coal leases on federal lands “until it completes a comprehensive review of whether the fees charged to mining companies provide a fair return to American taxpayers and reflect coal’s impact on the environment” no doubt ruffled Mr. Kasich’s coal feathers and those of coal mine owners who support him like Bob Murray of Murray Energy Corporation.

On Climate Change, It’s Kasich Versus The World

As for climate change, Gov. Kasich wanders alone in his own lane. In his eighth and final State of the Union Address delivered to Congress this past Tuesday night, President Obama offered four questions about the future. Second among them was “how do we make technology work for us, and not against us? Especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?”

The odds are high that Gov. Kasich didn’t listen to the president, but if he did, he might not like where he stands with respect to the science of climate change and the rest of the world.

“Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it,” President Obama said in his address. “You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.”

In the matchup on whether climate change is more than just a theory, the divide between what the rest of the world believes and what John Kasich’s backward thinking ideology permits him to believe is as great an expanse as the universe itself. Gov. Kasich is too much of a coward to admit the obvious, so by unanimous decision, the world wins. As does President Obama, who unlike Mr. Kasich has been a world leader on the subject.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Since Gov. Kasich is afraid to admit to the accuracy of the science behind climate change, is he also afraid to admit that science is behind the creation of new drugs that can turn back cancer as the scourge of the human race? For the petulant governor whose odds are long for doing well in New Hampshire, the answer is no. He likes science on some subjects but not others.

Would Mr. Kasich apply his same backward scientific thinking on digging and burning coal to protect coal industry jobs to President Obama’s commitment for a medical moonshot that would, if successful, maybe eliminate the threat of cancer? Mr. Kasich is all for science when it comes to medicines and medical advances. If he’s unwilling to curb burning coal to protect the shrinking number of coal mining jobs, would he apply that same  job-protection thinking to eliminating cancer, if cancer-fighting health industry jobs in Ohio and nationally would be eliminated? In America’s for-profit health system, no one makes money if no one gets sick. Prevention isn’t valued, but spending millions treating cancer is what drives shareholder value in giant for-profit health corporations.

Science is science, and the world is better off because of scientist than in spite of them. John Kasich, the theocrat, should say no to coal mining and yes to the White House’s medical moonshot. If not, and he wont’, doesn’t he essentially disqualify himself by saying no to climate change because he wants to protect burning more coal? Can he then pivot and say yes when it helps mortals extend their mortality?

Talk among yourselves, then vote for progressives who see science as fundamental to progress across the board.

 

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