June 22, 2012

An Enemy of the People...

...is the title of a play by Ibsen about an otherwise well-regarded doctor who becomes a pariah when he discovers that the waters on which his home town's economy is based are poisonous.

Good thing nothing like that could ever happen in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia, huh? I mean, the idea of someone catching some flack for being insufficiently servile to a major industry is way too far-fetched in this day and age...

Totally off topic, WV's ruling class is throwing yet another hissy fit over Senator Jay Rockefeller's recent comments about coal. As usual, Ken Ward provides a great summary at Coal Tattoo.

Here's just one example of how those who dance to the masters' tune spin things around here. The headline of the print version of The State Journal, a business publication, blares "Rockefeller Blasts Coal, Lauds EPA," which, to the ears of those who run this state, is the equivalent of "Rockefeller Dropkicks Jesus, Gives Obama-style fist bump to Satan," only worse.

If you actually read what Rockefeller said, it's pretty clear that he wants the industry to have a place at the table for years to come, but facts don't matter around here. I'm afraid things are going to be pretty ugly here for a stretch.

The sad part is, things are going to be tough enough anyway. WV has a tough transition to go through, thanks as much to market forces and competition with natural gas as to anything else. Excessive rhetoric, denial and blind resistance aren't going to help.

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