Thursday, October 7, 2010

WV Governor Sues the EPA -- It Must Be Election Time

"West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) on Wednesday announced the state is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its crackdown on mountaintop-removal practices by the coal mining industry.

"Manchin, at a morning news conference at the state capitol, said the lawsuit had been in the works long before the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) — a staunch defender of the state's mining industry — in June, according to The Associated Press. Manchin spoke of Byrd’s legacy and pulled out a copy of the U.S. Constitution, as Byrd often did on the Senate floor, and quoted the 10th Amendment, which deals with states' powers, the AP reported."

"Manchin’s announcement comes as he finds himself in a dead heat with Republican John Raese for Byrd’s seat. Manchin’s troubles for that seat — despite his high approval rating as governor — have been used to illustrate the problem some Democrats are having in being linked to President Obama and national Democratic leaders. Raese has steadily improved in the head-to-head race, and edged ahead in a recent Rasmussen poll."

It must be election time. Is it just me, or does anybody else see the connection between West Virginia Governor Manchin's announcement to sue the EPA with his race against Raese for Sen. Byrd's seat in Congress? What was he thinking? -- "Here's a sure way to get those fence-sitting voters and fat cats to vote for me instead of voting Republican, attack the very organization that's looking out for the interests of the little man, the EPA." It's a shame that politicians use their power to promote themselves at the expense of everyone else. And so many folks (Republicans) are making the EPA out to be some organization that throws its weight around, sticking its nose where it doesn't belong. What about Big Coal? Hasn't he been doing that for over 70 years to the residents of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia? How have they fared as a result?

"EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement when they were released that the “people of Appalachia shouldn't have to choose between a clean, 
healthy environment in which to raise their families and the jobs they need to support them.”

It must be election time. The lines are being drawn -- and polarized. Republicans are swarming like buzzards around Obama and the Democrats, ready to swoop in for the kill. And it's not going to be a pretty sight. There won't be any winners in this election, I'm afraid. We're all going to lose.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his essay "Nature" that someone may own the land, but no one will ever own the landscape. It belongs to everyone who gazes upon it. That's not really true anymore, as coal companies are removing the landscape, the very horizon that Emerson said we needed. "The health of the eye demands a horizon," he said. So what's going to happen to us when that landscape is gone, and is replaced by valley fill, flat land not good for anything but scrub grass. We've got cheap energy, but we are living along a Martian landscape.

from "W.Va. Gov. Manchin sues EPA over mountaintop removal" By Darren Goode, in The Hill

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