The McDonald Coal Flip-Flop

by jhwygirl

Even if you like coal and supported development of the Otter Creek tracts, this should cause you pause.

Clean coal is a fallacy. The coal industry spends far more in dividend payments and buying bigger diesel-gobbling machinery than it does in search of technology for clean coal – and when that won’t work, they’ll just continue shipping the stuff off to China.

It’s a multitude of old industries joined together in the common cause of coal..holding on to the market they have for coal and mining machinery, railroad equipment and rail building, large-scale shipping. All subsidized by state and federal tax dollars – yours. Lobbying against clean energy and any policies that might lead us towards weaning our power industry off of coal.

Kinda like drug dealers, you know?

Meanwhile the U.S. lags behind in green industries. The windmill here in Montana? Built in Germany, Denmark, Spain and China. Congress has been, with all intent and purpose, walking away from the one burgeoning industry potential here in the U.S. Even industrialist and oil man T. Boone Pickens knows that wind energy is the future of America.

McDonald gives one statement to Montana Conservation Voters, another to the crowds here in Missoula, and a different one to the voters out east in Billings and Bozeman? What’s a voter to believe? I know I heard him here in Missoula say that ‘until coal can be made clean,’ he didn’t think we should be developing coal.

In a big state with such a small main street, why would any candidate put out a mixed message on such a high-profile issue?



  1. Big Swede

    Scary stuff.

    When he wins I’d suggest not voting for him in Nov.

  2. Pilot

    I have to agree. There isn’t any such thing as “clean coal,” and may never be.

    Crooked Senator Ted Stevens (and friend of Connie Burns) got a $300 million federal subsidy for the “clean coal plant” build to use the “wet” coal from a mine owned by one of his first clients in Healy, Alaska. The state’s industrial development authority which owns it now tried to give it away with no takers, a year or two ago. It’s never produced a kilowatt of electricity. Fairbanks ratepayers were forced to build useless transmission lines to the boondoggle.

    There’s a power plant in Central Oklahoma that brags about its rare and unique high tech “sequestration” of CO2. It doesn’t actually sequester anything, but merely delays release about 15% of its CO2 emissions. They’re captured for use in fast freezing of foods, fizz in water, dry ice, etc. But they still go back into the atmosphere whether as human waste products or through sublimation.

    A push by the railroads, particularly ATSF, and Santa Fe, led to the eventual permitting of an ostensibly “clean coal” plant in Western Kansas. It would have supplied power for Colorado, with Kansas getting mostly the pollution. Governor Sibelius had vetoed the bill twice but when she became a cabinet members, her Lt. Governor, Mark Parkinson, the former head of the Kansas Republican Party but a pretty decent guy, went ahead and gave them one permit, rather than the two requested.

    I was listening to the former head of the coal industry public relations and lobbying arm, Jack Gerard, on Talk of the Nation, two years ago. Gerard was then the outgoing head of the Chemical producers association and was taking over the American Petroleum Institute. He was claiming that Katrina didn’t cause any Gulf coast spills (the Coast Guard acknowledged 7 million gallons), that they’re hadn’t been any offshore spills since Santa Barbara in 1969, and no Gulf spills affecting the U.S. coasts. He was lying through his teeth. The, at the time largest ever, spill in the world, was a blowout of the Ixtoc I well in the Gulf which took eight months to cap. It was in only 160 feet of water. Gerard had obviously learned to lie from the masters.

    The coal, nuke and oil industries complain about subsidies for alternative energies, but the truth is that coal gets more than any and it’s unwarranted.

  3. You can’t call it a flip-flop unless you believe he’s changed his mind. He never made up his mind in the first place, he just says whatever he thinks fits the occasion. Cause he’s an ass.

  4. Clean coal is not a fallacy! I saw it on TV, and if it is on TV, it is real in the mind of the voter.

    And what McDonald is doing is just the 4,928th rendering of an old game wherein industry backs candidates from both parties to assure a good outcome.

    That you spotted it this time! Kudos. The other 4,927 times … well, not so good.

  5. Twohundertseventy

    I think that Clean Energy is a huge issue for Montana. For a state with such a low population density this is a really good chance to get the economy booming and to be on the forefront nationally and worldwide. In Germany, when you drive on a highway, you see thousands of windmills left and right– in Montana, you barely see some, even if there would be ideal conditions in a lot of places.

    Tyler understands that and cares about this issue- he’s been talking to people in the state who already are using clean energy to power their farms and businesses.

    Clean energy really is one of Tyler’s strong suits, and it’s an important issue. It might also help him in rural areas where he’d do not so well if it wasn’t for that.

    But I’m sure that the people (and especially the Democrats) in Eastern Montana don’t like to have their rivers polluted by coal plants.

  6. WhereAreTheOtherStatements?

    You say there are conflicting statements, but you only posted a link to one statement. How about posting links to the other statements that supposedly contradict this one? I would like to check for myself to see if your characterizations are accurate.

    • wherearetheotherstatements- you might want to get yourself one of those new-fangled computers with high speed connection so you can watch the video above for your answers to your question.

      new to the internets much?

      • Heh heh. Seems the bear has been learning a few things from the Wulf.

        Well done, my friend.

      • WhereAreTheOtherStatements

        I’m not sure what you are talking about.

        I don’t see any mention of a video in this post.

        What is the url of this video?

        • that is the youtube video right in front of your face there wherearetheotherstatements
          you simply click the arrow in the box and it will play a video for you. magic.

          • WhereAreTheOtherStatements

            I don’t see a video. What is the url of the video? Why are you unwilling to answer this simple question?

          • WhereAreTheOtherStatements

            By examining the source of the post, I was able to discover that there is an embedded video which isn’t showing in my browser.

            The url of the video is

            The video is a two minute and seven second campaign ad from Tyler Gernant. It has short, edited snippets of some statements by Dennis McDonald. There is no way to tell what he actually said from these snippets.

            Just another illustration of the truly lackluster field of potential opponents for Mr. Rehberg this year, again. Or should I say ‘potential sacrificial lambs’.

            Perhaps Mr. Gernant can follow in Monica Lindeen’s footsteps by using his subsequent increased name recognition to get elected to some other post.

  7. what do you mean you don’t see the video? it covers half the page. what are you using for a computer?

  8. must be mcdonald himself using his grandkids playskool learn n’ play.

  9. …..this calls for an ice cold pabst blue ribbon while i calibrate the fish finder…..

    all i can say is if mcdonald wins the primary, this may be one of the most entertaining political clown shows in the country.

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