May 29, 2012

Then what?

El Cabrero is getting a little worried about the ruling class in my beloved state of West Virginia. As I've mentioned before, they are several years into a protracted hissy fit over the allegedly job-killing agenda of the Obama administration and its "war on coal."

They had a bit of a setback recently when it was noticed that coal jobs are actually significantly up to their highest level since the mid 1990s, higher even than the ruling class Golden Age of the Bush administration.

Resourceful guys that they are, no pun intended, they managed to dodge that bullet by essentially saying, "Yeah,  well, maybe, but he's about to start killing jobs."

(It is a truth universally acknowledged amongst the WV ruling class that declining jobs in coal mining are exclusively caused by black commanders in chief and not by things like a warm winter, cheap natural gas and competition from other places.)

Here's what I wonder about though. Suppose Romney wins in November and the EPA is gutted or abolished and mining regulation falls back into industry hands and enforcement is replaced by "compliance assistance." If coal jobs go down then, as will probably be the case, who are they going to blame?

The Obama excuse is bound to wear off in time and then it may become apparent that there were plenty of warning signs about the long term decline of Appalachian mining but that the people running the state were in a state of denial and blew any chances to work towards some kind of transition that might have eased the crunch because they were too busy throwing a hissy fit.

But, knowing them, they'll probably find somebody else to blame it on.

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