EPA announcement should have been anticipated - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

EPA announcement should have been anticipated

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  • Arrest made in Summers County robberies

    Arrest made in Summers County robberies

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:38 AM EDT2014-09-01 05:38:18 GMT
    Two homes and two businesses in Summers county were taken by surprise early Sunday morning.
    Two homes and two businesses in Summers county were taken by surprise early Sunday morning.
  • Crews are searching for three missing juveniles

    Crews are searching for three missing juveniles

    Sunday, August 31 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-09-01 03:39:47 GMT
    Three juveniles are missing in Fayette CountyThree juveniles are missing in Fayette County
    Crews in Fayette County are searching for three missing juveniles.Dispatchers say a call came in around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.Police are looking in the area of Cunard Road, which is between Fayetteville and Oak Hill.The Fayette County Sheriffs Department, West Virginia State Police, Jan Care Ambulance, Parks Services, and the Fayetteville Fire Department are all on hand searching the area.The kids were last seen around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.If you have any information about these kids whereabout...
    Crews in Fayette County are searching for three missing juveniles.Dispatchers say a call came in around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.Police are looking in the area of Cunard Road, which is between Fayetteville and Oak Hill.The Fayette County Sheriffs Department, West Virginia State Police, Jan Care Ambulance, Parks Services, and the Fayetteville Fire Department are all on hand searching the area.The kids were last seen around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.If you have any information about these kids whereabout...
  • Man Arrested in Raleigh County for 1st Degree Murder

    Man Arrested in Raleigh County for 1st Degree Murder

    Sunday, August 31 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-08-31 22:48:55 GMT
    Joe Collins is arrested on murder chargesJoe Collins is arrested on murder charges
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
  • Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Lesson from Ferguson: Do not lose hope

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:00:24 GMT
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
    The images from Ferguson, Missouri, look like snapshots from a war zone. We still don't know why city police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, but we do know the fallout shines a glaring light on what happens when scores of people are disconnected from the American Dream.
  • Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Political bickering overshadows need for change

    Friday, August 15 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-15 15:39:41 GMT
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.
    New ideas and ways to move our state and nation forward are in short supply during this election season.

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced its new “Clean Power Plan” and many West Virginia politicians are stepping over themselves to denounce the agency and offer dire predictions about how this proposal will drag down our economy. Their fears are well-founded, but they cannot act as if they did not see this coming.

If only our elected leaders, so up in arms over the last few days, would devote a fraction of that passion to diversifying this state’s economic system and giving our people a lasting chance at prosperity. In a very real way, we can lay this problem at their feet. Decades of inaction and complete unwillingness to look past the extraction industries for job creation have put us all in this difficult position. Refusing to diversify has serious consequences.

Anyone with a modicum of foresight knew this was a real possibility. Before he was even elected, President Obama noted his distaste for coal and power generated from coal. How did we react? By doing next to nothing. Business got a modicum of tax relief, but we embraced very few ideas that would truly allow prosperity to flourish. We did little to modernize our tax code, our judicial system remains a place where politics trumps fairness and far too many of our students are not getting what they need to compete in the 21st century.

What happens now? Even if the EPA’s “reforms” are stalled or rolled back, it is unlikely Washington, D.C., becomes a place that embraces coal any time soon. It may be difficult to hear, but Appalachia is out of step with the rest of the nation in so many ways.

It’s difficult to defend others’ naive views about energy creation, but facing reality means dealing with the world as it is, not the way we would like to see it. It’s time for West Virginia to take charge of its own course. That happens when those in power realize our state’s potential and what our people can do. Businesses allowed to operate outside the system have success, but so many are subjected to job-killing measures. Not only that — we do little to welcome investment.

We have made strides. A once-broken workers’ compensation system is now a model for other states. We are paying down debt and dealing with post-employment benefits and unfunded liability issues that position us well for the future. All we truly need are leaders willing to give us a shot at a better West Virginia.