Last Friday, I had the honor of joining Senator Manchin, UMWA President Cecil Roberts, AARP representatives, industry leaders, and local citizens to discuss the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act. While Coalfield Development is not a political organization, and while we do not count ourselves as policy experts, we did appreciate the opportunity to offer our perspective from the ground here in southern West Virginia. When it comes to our world’s changing energy system, we continue seeing more opportunity for Appalachia than harm. And we applaud the new investments for innovation and economic development we’re seeing here in our region.
Many opponents of investments in all-of-the-above-energy strategies and innovation are saying this bill and other policies like it will “decimate” the economy of southern West Virginia. I reject this fear-based opinion. Frankly, the economy of southern West Virginia has already been decimated by years of economic decline, the Opioid epidemic, and disinvestment. Now is the time to invest in new jobs and new businesses here in our community. Now is the time to solve problems. And we can only do that when we come together, quit trying to score political points, get past talking points, and get into the real work of rebuilding our economy. We at Coalfield Development are seeing new opportunities to do just that, and we’re rolling up our sleeves to get to it. Let’s not fear the future, let’s shape it.