Unusual Suspect Calls for Economic Diversification

No one would ever accuse the West Virginia State Journal of being a liberal rag. Pro-coal, anti-regulation editorials are par for the course. So it is quite telling that yesterday, the State Journal published an editorial titled "W.Va. Citizens Need to Look Beyond Coal." Citing recent reports of the imminent decline of Central Appalachian coal, the State Journal states that "coal reserves in Central Appalachia are running out" and, more importantly, "Looking beyond coal may not be popular, but honesty is an important part of this debate."

With a topic as sensitive as coal, honest debates can be difficult to have. Everyone has a stake in this game, and it's easy to resort to propaganda and fear when emotions run high. But it's clear that some plan for a limited-coal future is vital for Appalachia, and the more people who are willing to engage in productive discussion about it, the better. While there will be many different views of how we attract and grow new business, the State Journal has it right when they say, "Changing a mindset is one thing, but our elected leaders need show some real leadership and get their heads out of the sand."

We couldn't agree more.