What would Alinsky do?

That would be Saul Alinsky, the infamous agitator, author of Rules for Radicals, and the ideological forebear of our president and many an EPA administrator.

Would Alinsky grant a mining permit and then -- after all the planning had been done, the costly investments made, and the operation up and running -- withdraw the permit, thereby crippling the company?

You bet he would. That’s exactly what Alinsky would do.

Denying the permit in advance would not be nearly as effective as granting it and then withdrawing it once the company was too deeply committed to cut its losses.

If the objective is to destroy the coal industry and the end justifies the means, that would be the correct course of action, right?

If you abhor anyone who would think and act like that, join the club. But they’re out there, and they’re often surprisingly candid about their goals and methods.

In a January 17, 2008 interview with the agenda-friendly San Francisco Chronicle, Candidate Barack Obama promised to set standards for coal plants that would put them out of business.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” he affirmed in a patronizing manner; “it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

In 2010, speaking before a like-minded audience, EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz talked about the EPA’s policy of “crucifying” a random set of energy companies in order to cripple the industry.

In 2009, the EPA effectively revoked a permit that the U.S. Corps of Engineers had issued to the Mingo Logan Coal Company two years earlier. That revocation was recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Members of our state’s congressional delegation may protest the decision and promise legislation to correct it, but the war on coal will continue until the radicals are rooted out of our government and agencies like the EPA are controlled.

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