WV needs big plan, big money for economic ills

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — When Brookings Institution’s Adele Morris spoke at the energy conference at West Virginia University last Friday, she grabbed our attention.

Why, she asked, isn’t the federal government doing more to save the coalfields of southern West Virginia?

As reported by The Register-Herald’s Daniel Tyson, Morris noted that the federal government stepped in to save tobacco farmers and tried to extend the lives of textile mills in the Carolinas. We would add that, in response to the 2008 economic meltdown, the federal government also saved the auto industry in Detroit and bailed out banks that were anything but “too big to fail.”

Morris, an energy economist with Brookings, estimated the Central Appalachian coalfields would need tens of billions of dollars to save it.

Yes, she said it: Tens of billions…

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