WV needs diverse economy to protect it from coal problems - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV needs diverse economy to protect it from coal problems

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  • UPDATE: Route 2 now open following tractor trailer accident

    UPDATE: Route 2 now open following tractor trailer accident

    Monday, August 25 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-25 20:00:48 GMT
    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.
    A tractor trailer is blocking part of Route 2. The road is closed until further notice. Drivers heading in both direction are being asked to use the Big Ben Bowen Highway connector by Target to get around.
  • 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 is expected this week to propose the first ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants. There are justifiable fears by the coal mining industry that this decision would effectively doom construction of new coal plants for the foreseeable future and cripple the industry.

This is just one more salvo in the obama administration's so-called "war on coal." ironically, a report issued last week claimed there is more ice-covered ocean water since last year, but this debate has never been about actual science or hard data. This is pure politics and the fulfillment of an ideology-driven agenda that seeks to put fashion over evidence.

It's clear our state's coal industry is not as robust as it was just a few years ago. Peculiar federal legislation is partly to blame, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered, including geology, competition from cheaper energy sources, economics and a host of other issues. Uncertainty is the order of the day, which is one more reason why our elected leaders need to act and act now. We must find way to diversify our economy and create a west virginia were all business can thrive.