Letter: Misleading TV Ads? "Clean Coal?"

The wealthy and politically connected coal industry is desperate. They are now trying, through TV ads, to perpetuate their existence by misleading the public into believing that supporting their dirty product will keep energy bills low. This is totally untrue and comes from an industry that actually tries to merge the words "clean" and "coal" in the same phrase. Are you kidding?

Coal is an 18th century energy source and those that are financially vested in it will say and do anything to ensure that it remains dominant. The fact is that the burning of coal contributes significantly to increased health-care costs that we all pay for. Coal is an anti-life energy source that directly leads to a myriad of health related problems and premature deaths. The burning of coal and, in the case of mountaintop removal mining, the blowing up of our natural heritage (America's mountain lands), also greatly hinders economic development. This detracts from efforts to promote tourism and recruit high-quality job creators that depend on well educated workers who do not want to live in areas that are visually unappealing and/or have poor air quality. If coal is such a good economic stimulant, then why are coal mining areas some of the poorest in the country?

The fact is that it is time we ended our dependence on coal. This, of course, will not be easy because many of our decision makers are in the pocket of the coal industry. It is time we demand that our decision makers place greater value on human life (be truly pro-life), the protection of our mountain lands, and quality economic growth. Don't fall for the desperate lies of the coal industry and their lobbyists. We can do much better in a nation as innovative and inspiring as the United States of America.

Mark Shipley

Knoxville