Something similar happened at Purdue this week, where students and activists there won their fight against the university’s plans for a new campus coal plant. Those plans have now been replaced by designs for a wind farm. This marks the 150th proposed coal plant to have been defeated or withdrawn in the past couple of years.
Behind these defeats for fossil fuel based energy production are the people dubbed “The hot generation” by Mark Hertsgaard who has written Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. The term was coined because, due to the continuing use of fuels which produce greenhouse gases, the generation born in the past two decades has been "given a life sentence for a crime they didn't commit."
This is the generation that will bear the full brunt of global warming if their representatives in government continue their dance with the coal and oil industries. In this dance, politicians are either dragging their feet on doing anything about greenhouse gas emissions or are trying to ensure that more of them will get into the atmosphere over the next several decades.
To wit, the EPA will be exempting up to twenty industrial facilities from new federal controls on air pollution and the gases blamed for global warming because they don’t want to be seen “stopping too many new projects”. With this action, the Environmental Protection Agency has signaled that the Obama administration is in the process of a complete cave in to the interests of the fossil fuel industry. On both sides of Congress efforts the strip the EPA’s power to regulate anything about emissions based on "contribution to climate change" have been introduced.
These politicians, many who were on the receiving end of Big Coal and Big Oil’s half a billion dollars for political campaigns in the past two years, now have to deliver the goods to their contributors. Protecting big polluters isn’t enough for them. These politicians are also trying to advance the agendas of these industries that are already breaking records for their level of profits. This agenda is coming at the expense of the health of our planet and future generations, both of which will suffer over the next several decades.
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