Lignite: Fool's gold | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lignite: Fool's gold

Posted By on Sun, May 22, 2011 at 6:56 AM

IN ARKANSASS FUTURE?: Lignite mining in East Texas.
  • IN ARKANSAS'S FUTURE?: Lignite mining in East Texas.

SOCIALIZED MINER: Rep. Kim Hammer (R-Benton)
  • SOCIALIZED MINER: Rep. Kim Hammer (R-Benton)
Periodically, an Arkansas politician gets worked up about the state's lignite deposits. But for four decades or more, the bottom line always turned out the same — it's not commercially viable to mine, burn, liquify or whatever.

The drumbeat has begun again. The Democrat-Gazette's Sarah Wire mined every aspect of the latest lignite push this morning. (Pay wall.)

It's still the same fool's gold, but that doesn't mean there aren't foolish legislators willing to spend taxpayer money in pursuit of it. It is rich irony indeed to see one of the vanguard of small-government Republicans, Rep. Kim Hammer of Benton, pushing for taxpayer funding of a study on the viability of this deposit.

Isn't this what free enterprise and capitalism are supposed to do? Identify profit-making ideas, research and develop them? This passage, smacking of socialized mining, particularly struck me:


Hammer said the state needs to fund the new study to show it is interested in creating a lignite industry.

He said a mining company will have to spend money on a lignite mine and wouldn’t want to have to search for it too.

“If I was a private investor I wouldn’t spend $2.5 million on hope,” Hammer said.

A few things:

1) How many times this year have you heard a Republican say — in response to stimulus spending on real jobs for demonstrable public benefit — "government never created a job."

2) Private investors don't spend money on hope, but the state's taxpayers should? How about we run government like a business — on reality, not pipe dreams?

Thanks to Gov. Mike Beebe for noting that taxpayers weren't asked to pay to discover the gas deposits now being exploited in Arkansas or study ways to commercially tap it.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    The resistance mustered a turnout for a rare public appearance by U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, which meant a ferry ride from Peel, Ark., and a drive almost to Missouri. He didn't seem happy to see them.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Democratic Party calls for resignation of Jake Files

    The Arkansas Democratic Party says Republican Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith should resign over news about handling of state General Improvement Fund money that wound up with him, not the project for which it was intended.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • Rutledge touts effort to allow discrimination against gay people

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is braying about her intervention in yet another out-of-state lawsuit — this one to protect a Washington state florist who doesn't want to sell flowers to gay people for use at their wedding.
    • Aug 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • Sorry--I posted the wrong list above. The current list is for the class of 2021…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Tuesday's open line

    • To distract from the Trump craziness, here is the annual Beloit College Mindset List. It…

    • on August 23, 2017
  • Re: Womack gets questions. He doesn't answer

    • Big thanks to the Indivisible members who took the time to make that out-of-the-way trip…

    • on August 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation