“Renewable energy and climatechange” are apparently still major fighting-words for those residing in coal country Appalachia, and who continue to sadly cling to the coal mindset. Maybe that’s why Republican legislators Griffith, Chafin, O’Quinn, Campbell, Morefield, Rush and Pillion remain nearly silent as multiple respected economic groups and private individuals promote Appalachian coal-country “mountaintop renewable farms," i.e., wind and solar energy as “the national and regional economic driving engine for growth and redevelopment of our generation.”

Perhaps mention of same, by these Legislators, would somehow sadly translate, as it did with with beloved long-time 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher, into misdirected dissatisfaction and distrust at them in the voting booth this fall, and they would lose re-election. Here’s the message to these gentlemen: Don’t let a lost generational economic opportunity be a PERMANENT REMINDER of a TEMPORARY FEELING about the return of coal.

In today’s economic energy transition, coal in the mountains and renewables on the mountains in Appalachia don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Free market economic conditions will ultimately determine both the future “demand” for coal and the future “demand” for renewables, and no single factor will change that economic trajectory.

ED REYNOLDS

ROANOKE

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