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Energy generation economy will require evolution

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  • Transition team must act with urgency

    Transition team must act with urgency

    Friday, December 16 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-16 11:00:16 GMT

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

  • Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Friday, December 9 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-09 11:00:15 GMT

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

  • Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Friday, December 2 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-02 11:00:19 GMT

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed down an interesting decision in terms of what the Environmental Protection Agency can and cannot do in terms of reducing emissions at power plants and factories.

Experts have said the federal agency got 80 percent of what it wanted in this case, but some in West Virginia are touting it as a victory. That remains to be seen, but what has not and will not change is the fact that we must become an energy leader and a state with a more diverse economy.

Coal is cheap and reliable and it will be in our nation’s energy-creation mix for years to come. Our state is at the forefront of natural gas exploration. The question becomes: How do we learn from the past and harness this growth? Part of this dynamic will be developing and implementing clean, environmentally-conscious ways to utilize these resources. Some may scoff at that notion and they’re right to be cynical, but we also have to be realistic. Viability means looking forward. We cannot predict the future, but those in power see climate change as a threat and we must be cognizant of that. Whether they are correct or not is far from settled science, but the sentiment is not going to change anytime soon. For us to compete in the modern economy of energy generation, then we must be willing to evolve and grow.

We also must be willing to look beyond natural resources. We must be a state that welcomes investment at every level and of every stripe. We have a dedicated workforce that, when given a chance, can compete with anybody. Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, a place often lauded for its efficiency, is solid proof of what we can do. Yet Toyota and others like it are outliers. They operate outside of a broken system. If we want to help this state achieve its potential, then we must have a fair and equitable tax system for all, not just a select few. We need courts that put justice and fairness above all else. And, perhaps most importantly, we need schools that prepare our young people for life in the 21st Century and give them the tools to succeed in a global economy. Our first step is using 2014 to elect men and women to public office who understand these concepts are not afraid to challenge the status quo.

What the EPA does or how we’re treated by the federal government is out of our control. If we want a better West Virginia, then it’s up to us to make it happen.

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