President Obama for several years has been trying to spend a good bit of money in West Virginia to help out all the people whose lives have been impacted by the decline in coal jobs. Things like this:
The plan, called POWER Plus and is part of the President’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, provides more than $55 million in funding for job training, job creation, economic diversification, and other economic efforts in communities that have experienced layoffs due to the declining coal industry. According to the White House, that funding is “unprecedented” and will go toward improving the economic security of coal miners and their families, who have “helped keep the lights on in this nation for generations.”
Those investments include $20 million in funding for coal miners or coal plant workers who have lost their jobs in recent years. The money will go toward job transitioning services and programs for those who have lost their jobs in the coal industry. Another $25 million will go toward the Appalachian Regional Commission, which works to improve economic opportunities in Appalachia.
“Our point here is that while policymakers can disagree about the reasons why the coal industry is struggling, all Americans should be able to agree that these workers and communities, who are in some of the most economically distressed parts of the country, deserve help from the federal government,” Jason Walsh, a senior White House policy adviser told the Charleston Gazette.
I’ll give you one guess what has been standing in the way of this. Just one. At any rate, Obama finally got some money trickling in to the state, and this is how Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore-Capito responded:
West Virginia got some welcome news last week. A round of President Obama’s POWER initiative grants will pour $16 million into infrastructure and entrepreneurship projects to help West Virginians get back to work.
It is money well spent and well-deserved. Just because the world is moving away from fossil fuels doesn’t mean communities whose livelihoods and economies were built around the coal industry should bear all the painful economic change and job loss on their own.
President Obama believes that, and enough members of Congress agreed. So plenty of elected officials were celebrating the much-needed money coming to these counties. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Capito put out their own joint announcement.
And in this good news, they could not help but take a shot at the Obama administration: “Years of onerous regulations that have targeted our state have put many West Virginians out of work and hurt local communities,” Republican Sen. Capito said in their news release.
“West Virginia has been devastated by this administration’s harmful regulations and we must continue to fight to keep our coal jobs and to make sure every out-of-work coal miner has access to meaningful job opportunities,” Democrat Sen. Manchin said in the release.
They still aren’t done humping the energy industry, and the delusional gomers down state still think coal si the future, so they are shitting all over the hand that feeds them. Fortunately, the Gazette-Mail is sick of the bullshit:
Perhaps if West Virginia leaders like Capito and Manchin had talked straight with their constituents on this issue for the last 10 years, fewer Southern West Virginians would have been in denial about the situation for all this time.
The coal jobs are going to disappear, whether people choose to protect their air and water or not. Why shouldn’t West Virginians have something left of their Almost Heaven when coal is done?
Sometimes, we wonder why President Obama bothers with places like West Virginia, which seem to give him nothing but grief, even when he is looking after the people’s needs and best interests. It’s because he is the bigger person.
You could pretty much say the last paragraph about every god damned state run by wingnuts these past eight years.