Intelligencer: Jobs, Environment Not Competitors

But Obama does not appear to genuinely believe it.

The editorial from the Wheeling (WV) Intelligencer is below.

###

Jobs, Environment Not Competitors
January 13, 2012
The Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register

President Barack Obama made his first visit to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this week -three years into his presidency – and gave another in a series of recent campaign speeches, this time declaring he would stand by the agency, and that its mission is “vital.”

Obama said he did not buy that Americans must choose between clean air and water, and a robust economy. We do not have to choose, of course. But Obama does not appear to genuinely believe it.

He says he thinks a healthy environment and growing economy are not mutually exclusive. But he is bent on encouraging EPA standards that force some coal-fired power plants to shut down. At the same time, he is putting no more effort into developing alternative energy sources in this country than to hand out a $528 million loan to a solar-panel company that went bankrupt, along with hundreds of millions in subsidies for other “green” projects.

His attempts to stimulate job growth are limited to a few Band-Aid measures that will lead to an even bigger problem once those projects are finished and workers are back in the unemployment lines.

West Virginians are in perhaps a unique position in this country – blessed with an environment of unrivaled beauty most of us would go to great lengths to protect, and owing much of our economic prosperity to the extraction industries the EPA would like to stamp out.

We also are reasonable and intelligent enough to understand the horse has to stay in front of the cart. Federal agencies should be putting their effort into researching and developing cleaner forms of energy, and the creation of jobs in that field (and others) before working so hard to shut down the traditional operations that employ so many.

If all the brain power in Washington spent on catering to the voting bloc du jour was, instead, channeled into protecting our environment and our jobs, we might all be breathing easier.