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(WJAC TV Johnstown)   It was so nice of the coal company to give a $2 million makeover to an abandoned mine. Oh, it was federal, state and local taxes that did it? It was SO nice of the federal, state and local officials to clean up after the coal company   (wjactv.com) divider line
    More: Murica  
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1905 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Oct 2020 at 12:19 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-10-27 8:26:36 AM  
Socialism.
 
2020-10-27 8:37:46 AM  
They created a park out of it. It's not like there's anything left of the coal company for us to focus on with our torches and pitchforks.

This is damned big gubmint deep staters jumping on space created by the private industry's great american bootstrappers and taking away opportunity for another coal company to come in once Trump finishes bringing coal back.
 
2020-10-27 10:08:18 AM  

Boondock3806: They created a park out of it. It's not like there's anything left of the coal company for us to focus on with our torches and pitchforks.

This is damned big gubmint deep staters jumping on space created by the private industry's great american bootstrappers and taking away opportunity for another coal company to come in once Trump finishes bringing coal back.


Illinois had scores of abandoned (that is, closed) coal mines around the southern half of the state well into the 70s. The state started up a huge reclamation program. A mine in my hometown became a soccer complex.

We could whine about it or we could appreciate just how easy it is to get rich in America.

1. Grab a bunch of government incentives to start a business
2. Lobby to keep wages as low as possible - it pays for itself
3. Negotiate big volume discounts from taxpayer funded utilities
4. Lobby for incredibly low tax rates with oodles of accounting gimmicks to show you never make any money
5. After the resources are used up, just abandon in place and blame it on foreign competition/regulations/unions
6. Lobby for special government handouts after being forced to close due to foreign competition/regulations/unions
7. Government takes care of all closeout and cleanup needs using taxpayer funds

There is so much money to be made and only one step in seven requires the production of a real thing. Any of you not getting rich are just lazy.
 
2020-10-27 12:24:22 PM  
Private profit, public losses. It's the American way.
 
2020-10-27 12:25:41 PM  

edmo: 1. Grab a bunch of government incentives to start a business


Most people can't get together the bribe money or have the connections for this step.
 
2020-10-27 12:32:05 PM  
They would have just changed the name of the coal company, spun it off or declared bankruptcy like that nice carburator factory in town.
 
2020-10-27 12:33:26 PM  
This is one of thousands of similar cases in Appalachia.

Well at least the Trumpers who trot out all of the "hidden costs" of renewable energy also include the massive costs of mine reclamation when they talk about coal. What's that? They ignore the billions of dollars required to rescue poisoned waterways and remove carcinogen-laden bony fields? Hmmm. That's an unfortunate oversight. I'll send them a note to rectify the issue.
 
2020-10-27 12:34:19 PM  

wantingout: Private profit, public losses. It's the American way.


More like its theft from elected officials to their ceo buddies and it should be a farking crime.
 
2020-10-27 12:36:15 PM  
I can't find a reference as to when this shutdown. The most recent reference I can find about the company is 1955.  I am thinking it is a super old mine so there was no one else to clean it up
 
2020-10-27 12:38:03 PM  
Eat shiat in hell, Bob.
 
2020-10-27 12:39:03 PM  
Unless the mine released something that is banned in the SuperFund law or clean water act, its owners, whoever they may have been, are not responsible for "restoring it."

In fact, even if they contract with the surface owner for the mineral rights based upon a promise that they will restore the property after they are done mining, such promises are almost always unenforceable because they will result in a windfall to the surface owner.
 
2020-10-27 12:43:06 PM  
I live in northeast Pa. We had so many culm banks (what the mine leaves behind) at one time that it seemed like they were everywhere. Companies would come in and buy the land and sell those coal leftovers to co-gen plants. They would then reclaim the land and either sell it or develop it. Now, there are nowhere near as many as there once were. The government wasn't involved.
 
2020-10-27 12:43:42 PM  

edmo: Boondock3806: They created a park out of it. It's not like there's anything left of the coal company for us to focus on with our torches and pitchforks.

This is damned big gubmint deep staters jumping on space created by the private industry's great american bootstrappers and taking away opportunity for another coal company to come in once Trump finishes bringing coal back.

Illinois had scores of abandoned (that is, closed) coal mines around the southern half of the state well into the 70s. The state started up a huge reclamation program. A mine in my hometown became a soccer complex.

We could whine about it or we could appreciate just how easy it is to get rich in America.

1. Grab a bunch of government incentives to start a business
2. Lobby to keep wages as low as possible - it pays for itself
3. Negotiate big volume discounts from taxpayer funded utilities
4. Lobby for incredibly low tax rates with oodles of accounting gimmicks to show you never make any money
5. After the resources are used up, just abandon in place and blame it on foreign competition/regulations/unions
6. Lobby for special government handouts after being forced to close due to foreign competition/regulations/unions
7. Government takes care of all closeout and cleanup needs using taxpayer funds

There is so much money to be made and only one step in seven requires the production of a real thing. Any of you not getting rich are just lazy.


Public money given to oligarchs for profit, resources exploited for private profit while costs are shouldered by the public... The quintessential American business playbook.

Americans only hate socialism for the poor, not the rich. Because reasons.
 
2020-10-27 12:49:41 PM  

Boondock3806: They created a park out of it. It's not like there's anything left of the coal company for us to focus on with our torches and pitchforks.

This is damned big gubmint deep staters jumping on space created by the private industry's great american bootstrappers and taking away opportunity for another coal company to come in once Trump finishes bringing coal back.


Fark needs a Dumbass button.
 
2020-10-27 12:51:18 PM  
They moved a big part of the waste pile and _burned_it_for_power_. Then covered the place with topsoil and planted grass.

Must have been high grade 'waste' coal. Which is expected as the definition of 'waste' has changed over the decades.

Depending on what % of the 200,000 cubic yards of waste was coal, 2 million could have been fair market value for the fuel. Coal is about $30/ton. A cubic yard of rock/coal has a weight of about 3-4 tons, depending. Haul cost would be the 'economics killer', same with most coal.

In any case, this is surprisingly efficient for government work. Good job.
 
2020-10-27 12:54:29 PM  

Yellow Beard: culm banks


"spoo pal".


/Spoil Pile.
//What ignorant hickabillies think constitutes a mountain when hunting.
///Don't drink the water
 
2020-10-27 1:13:53 PM  

UninformedButEnthusiastic: This is one of thousands of similar cases in Appalachia.


At least the industrial barons of other industries established universities, museums, libraries, and endowed cultural institutions for the benefit of the people and regions that made them rich.

Coal barons did none of this.

They just exploited the resources and the people, and left the region in ruins.

The people of Appalachia got farking punked. Hard. And they're not even mad about it. Instead, they insist on making coal barons punk them even harder. Instead of putting their heads on a farking spike, they elect them to high public office.

And heaven forfend someone point out the implicit stupidity of all of this - that'll just make them behave even more stupidly.

Because that'll show us.
 
2020-10-27 1:21:10 PM  
The article leaves more questions than answers.

How old was this mine?  Was the company that previously owned it still in business?  Is this a hazardous clean up, or merely a "make the area pretty again" thing?  How much money was made from selling the "refuse pile"?  What is going to happen to this land now?  Who owns it?
 
2020-10-27 1:46:07 PM  
Hey, I just shat all over myself - can someone come clean up *my* mess too while they're at it?

You have to be a corporation? Guess I'd better incorporate so I can enjoy the benefits of personhood like protected free speech and having the government clean up after me while I suffer none of the consequences personally.
 
2020-10-27 1:47:03 PM  
So I have a friend who has been working at mines pretty much since high school, in the tech end, researching ways to better extract ore, better detect ore without destroying a mountain to find out they were wrong, stuff like that. His dad works in the industry too, but he goes in to close the mines down.

Except that you don't close a mine. It's cheaper to keep it open with a skeleton crew, mostly techs like my friend, but you also need the people who do the kind of maintenance to keep it in compliance with regulations. It's extremely expensive to go through the full process to close a mine completely and stay in line with the regs. As a plus, there's always the chance that the mine will reopen fully as these new extraction techniques are developed.

I'm betting these abandoned mines are from before some of these regulations were put into place.
 
2020-10-27 1:51:17 PM  

Mikey1969: So I have a friend who has been working at mines pretty much since high school, in the tech end, researching ways to better extract ore, better detect ore without destroying a mountain to find out they were wrong, stuff like that. His dad works in the industry too, but he goes in to close the mines down.

Except that you don't close a mine. It's cheaper to keep it open with a skeleton crew, mostly techs like my friend, but you also need the people who do the kind of maintenance to keep it in compliance with regulations. It's extremely expensive to go through the full process to close a mine completely and stay in line with the regs. As a plus, there's always the chance that the mine will reopen fully as these new extraction techniques are developed.

I'm betting these abandoned mines are from before some of these regulations were put into place.


This particular project wasn't a mine. It was a big pile of mine garbage from former mines in the area. They just picked up the dirt and sent it to someplace where it is supposed to be on fire, as opposed to being on fire right where the dirt was at.
 
2020-10-27 3:05:46 PM  

Manfred J. Hattan: Mikey1969: So I have a friend who has been working at mines pretty much since high school, in the tech end, researching ways to better extract ore, better detect ore without destroying a mountain to find out they were wrong, stuff like that. His dad works in the industry too, but he goes in to close the mines down.

Except that you don't close a mine. It's cheaper to keep it open with a skeleton crew, mostly techs like my friend, but you also need the people who do the kind of maintenance to keep it in compliance with regulations. It's extremely expensive to go through the full process to close a mine completely and stay in line with the regs. As a plus, there's always the chance that the mine will reopen fully as these new extraction techniques are developed.

I'm betting these abandoned mines are from before some of these regulations were put into place.

This particular project wasn't a mine. It was a big pile of mine garbage from former mines in the area. They just picked up the dirt and sent it to someplace where it is supposed to be on fire, as opposed to being on fire right where the dirt was at.


Those are called tailings. And yeah, they're constantly finding ways to extract more use from these, and then re-plant the area. It's always good to see these stories, IMHO, progress is progress, and I'd rather see the issue resolved than the people who are complaining about who pays.
 
2020-10-27 3:21:13 PM  
It's only fair to the coal company.  I mean they did a favor to the city by removing all that nasty coal from there city.
 
2020-10-27 5:06:11 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: edmo: 1. Grab a bunch of government incentives to start a business

Most people can't get together the bribe money or have the connections for this step.


This is the reason venture capitalists exist -- and private equity funds -- and . . .
 
2020-10-27 6:02:36 PM  

wantingout: Private profit, public losses. It's the American way.


UninformedButEnthusiastic: This is one of thousands of similar cases in Appalachia.

Well at least the Trumpers who trot out all of the "hidden costs" of renewable energy also include the massive costs of mine reclamation when they talk about coal. What's that? They ignore the billions of dollars required to rescue poisoned waterways and remove carcinogen-laden bony fields? Hmmm. That's an unfortunate oversight. I'll send them a note to rectify the issue.


Huh. Commercial nuclear power plants are the only energy extractors that even take a stab at being able to pay for reclamation without recourse to public funds. You might argue about whether they build up a big enough fund, but note that private companies are buying shut-down plants specifically to decommission them, and they aren't planning to lose money in the process.

The economics sound a little weird until you realize that the decommissioning fund isn't part of the price of the plant. It goes along with the plant when it's sold - if there's money in the fund after decommission work is complete, the plant owner gets to keep the leftovers.

/Commercial plants, not military or government.
//User name checks out.
///3!
 
2020-10-27 7:02:17 PM  
Some of these old mines will catch fire and that can be a major disaster.  Some coal fires have been burning for more than 6,000 years and can't be put out.  In some cases it makes sense to mine more coal out of them until it can be protected from future lighting strikes.  Once the miners aren't working, there often isn't anyone around to put out early fires.  Some recently exposed brown coal can spontaneously combust to make it even more fun.
 
2020-10-27 7:54:55 PM  

Yellow Beard: I live in northeast Pa. We had so many culm banks (what the mine leaves behind) at one time that it seemed like they were everywhere. Companies would come in and buy the land and sell those coal leftovers to co-gen plants. They would then reclaim the land and either sell it or develop it. Now, there are nowhere near as many as there once were. The government wasn't involved.


Palmerton ever get that Zinc land on 248 built into a shopping mall?
 
2020-10-27 7:56:08 PM  

RussianPotato: Unless the mine released something that is banned in the SuperFund law or clean water act, its owners, whoever they may have been, are not responsible for "restoring it."

In fact, even if they contract with the surface owner for the mineral rights based upon a promise that they will restore the property after they are done mining, such promises are almost always unenforceable because they will result in a windfall to the surface owner.


Not sure that's how contracts work.
 
2020-10-28 9:04:02 AM  

TrashcanMan: RussianPotato: Unless the mine released something that is banned in the SuperFund law or clean water act, its owners, whoever they may have been, are not responsible for "restoring it."

In fact, even if they contract with the surface owner for the mineral rights based upon a promise that they will restore the property after they are done mining, such promises are almost always unenforceable because they will result in a windfall to the surface owner.

Not sure that's how contracts work.


You will notice that there are two streams running down the mountain from horseshoe curve.
One you might drink from, one you most certainly would not. Both leading away from the reservoir.
 
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