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

EPA announcement should have been anticipated

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    Police Search for Missing Woman

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:23 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:23:19 GMT
    Darlene HatfieldDarlene Hatfield
    The search is on for a missing woman in Bluefield, West Virginia. Officers with the Bluefield Police Department said Darlene Hatfield has been missing since August 15.
    The search is on for a missing woman in Bluefield, West Virginia. Officers with the Bluefield Police Department said Darlene Hatfield has been missing since August 15.
  • Bear attacks dog in Raleigh County

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    In Raleigh County a woman comes home to find her dog laying lifeless in the backyard after being attacked by a bear.
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  • We're working to see what rules are in place at shooting ranges after a 9 year old girl shoots her instructor

    We're working to see what rules are in place at shooting ranges after a 9 year old girl shoots her instructor

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:23 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:23:35 GMT
    National debate has been sparked over gun safety after a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a shooting instructor in Arizona on Monday.The instructor was teaching the girl how to use an Uzi sub-machine gun.The girl pulled the trigger, and the recoil caused her to lose control of the gun.The instructor was accidentally shot in the head, he died later at the hospital. 
    National debate has been sparked over gun safety after a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a shooting instructor in Arizona on Monday.The instructor was teaching the girl how to use an Uzi sub-machine gun.The girl pulled the trigger, and the recoil caused her to lose control of the gun.The instructor was accidentally shot in the head, he died later at the hospital. 
  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • 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.
  • Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Diversifying our economy will make it more resilient

    Friday, August 8 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-08-08 10:00:18 GMT
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.
    We have been hit hard with some tough economic news in recent days about our state’s most recognized industry. We learned that Alpha Natural Resources could lay off more than 1,000 workers later this year. Another report showed that it is becoming cheaper for domestic energy producers to import coal from other countries than to use what is mined in the U.S.

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.