Joe P. Asher
State Sen. Brandon Smith-R made an appearance in Harlan on Monday, addressing the importance of energy in this year’s election.
“For us in the coal industry… all of our industry, everything it’s tied to, rests on this single election,” said Smith. “There’s probably never been a more important time for us.”
According to Smith, Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney has an energy plan that will benefit Kentucky.
Smith said there have been other uses for coal developed — other than energy production.
“If you grind the stuff down and make carbon out of it, you get the finest dust that you could ever make a computer chip out of,” said Smith. “Computer chips in our phones right now are all made from silicon, which is sand. If you look at sand under a microscope and you look at carbon from a piece of coal, there’s no comparison. You’re talking about memory technology in chips right now that would’ve handled computers the size of that building (the Harlan Center) years ago. And it’s all coal. We need to quit selling ourselves short. The opportunity in modern technology — with nanotechnology and carbon technology — is ours.”
Smith said there is also a material that has been developed from coal that could be used for soundproofing and insulation.
He said the results of the presidential election will have an impact on energy policy.
“We need a strong leadership that has a fantastic energy plan,” said Smith. “There is a daylight and dark difference between the energy plan that Romney’s got and the energy plan you’re suffering under right now.”
When asked when these new technologies will be on the market, Smith noted the technology is ready now.
“The technology’s out there,” said Smith. “But people are more afraid of the EPA or some sort of group out there, a rogue group, that’s creating its own force of law without congress, rolling in and shutting your business down when you’re trying to make a product and not letting the market decide on whether or not you’ve got a good product.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org