May 30, 2014

Feel the noise

If you hear anything really loud next week, it just might be WV's ruling class throwing an epic hissy fit over the Obama administration's efforts to rein in carbon emissions and address climate change/global warming.

The hissy fit has been going on with peaks and valleys pretty much since 2009, but it's probably going to hit a new level.

Yesterday, I tweeted (@elcabrero) something like this:

World history WV style: the US entered WWII after Obama and the EPA bombed Pearl Harbor.
Sadly, that really isn't that much of an exaggeration.

Over at Coal Tattoo, my friend Ken Ward wonders when if ever folks here will actually deal with it. And Paul Krugman looks at the actual costs here.

At some point, I hope people here get around to facing a few facts. Like how the market, which some people worship as a god, is doing way more to coal than regulations. Or that maybe climate change/global warming is real (how bout the weather, by the way?). Or that however much coal has been and will be part of WV's economy, we're never going back to the WWII days when mines employed over 100,000 people. And that we need to have some rational, grown up discussions about what's next.

Meanwhile, apparently the nice folks at the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research didn't get the hissy fit memo. They recently released a report that forecast steady economic growth for WV over the next few years.. Here's some news coverage and here's the full report.

May 29, 2014

Is this what "open for business" means?

Once again let me state my considered opinion that West Virginia should change its motto from "Mountaineers are always free" to "You can't make this **** up." Here's another example of why: recently some solid waste from a Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale drilling site was turned away from a landfill in that state because an issue regarding radioactivity.

Not to worry. The material soon found a home in a WV landfill.

You know, I could be wrong, but this could be a setback for recent efforts to rebrand the state after the Freedom Industries chemical spill. Really guys, we're not that toxic.

May 27, 2014

Three from WV

West Virginia's efforts to improve child nutrition in schools got a shout out today from Off the Charts, the blog of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington. The post focuses on WV's implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision, a federal policy that allows school boards to provide free meals to all kids in high-poverty schools. Former first lady and current state Board of Education President Gayle Manchin recently published an op-ed in support of the program as well.

June 30 is the deadline for school boards to opt into (or out of) the program. I'm hoping and working to see the numbers increase this year.

IF THAT WAS THE GOOD, this piece on the politics of coal would probably be the bad and the ugly.

A (VERY) LITTLE JUSTICE. People who have lived in Masseyland over the last 20 years or so might be interested to learn that Hugh Caperton finally won a legal round in his long fight with the former coal giant. The award was pretty small though.