Energy Poverty Is the Mother of All Poverty


Carbon-hating environmentalists score a victory in Central Texas (hat tip: Matt Szekely):

Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. announced Tuesday that it will lay off 660 employees and close its Rockdale smelting operation, a potentially devastating blow to this small Milam County town northeast of Austin.

For years, Alcoa had been mired in a dispute with environmentalists and the federal Department of Justice over emissions from its coal-fired power plant operations on the site.

Citizens and environmental groups accused Alcoa in a lawsuit of illegally releasing more than 1 million tons of air pollution from the plant during a 17-year period.

As part of a settlement reached in 2003, Alcoa was required to pay a $1.5 million fine, spend $2.5 million on environmental mitigation projects in Central Texas and replace its three coal-powered electricity generating units with a single cleaner-burning, coal-powered unit.

No doubt Al Gore and James Hansen are pleased, but normal Americans bemoan the job losses and damaged livelihoods that result from the environmental lobby’s assault on affordable, reliable electricity. Sadly, more — much more — is to come.


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