"Is West Virginia Holding America’s Weirdest Election?" by Mason Adams in Politico
A billionaire who built up a corporate empire from his father’s inheritance now is running his first major political campaign with a promise to shake up the establishment and restore prosperity after a long period of stagnation. But in this case it’s not Donald Trump. It’s Jim Justice, the Democratic candidate for governor in West Virginia and a coal baron to boot.
A look at how an establishment website views the WV election for governor.
"'Trump's promises are empty': energy experts lay waste to proposals" by Herb E. Smith in The Guardian
Donald Trump’s energy agenda – which includes pledges of “complete energy independence”, making coal great again and ditching the Paris climate deal – is drawing bipartisan fire from industry analysts, former members of Congress, and even one coal mogul.
All of them, to varying degrees, fault the billionaire’s basic premises and call his promises farfetched and at times contradictory.
Still more experts, including a local coal owner, weigh-in on what Trump can really do about the future of coal.
"Speak Your Piece: The Lies We Want to Believe" by Herb E. Smith in The Daily Yonder
Those of us who live and work in coal country are used to lies. Even whoppers, like the one Donald Trump made this summer when he said he was going to put West Virginia coal miners back to work.
“We’re going to bring back coal jobs. Believe me.”
The people who make decisions about hiring and firing American coal miners work for coal companies. Coal companies decide to open or close coal mines, not the president of the United States. Governments regulate coal mines because they are dangerous. So coal companies say regulation is what caused the collapse of the coal industry in Appalachia. I don’t believe that lie, either.
Later, he explains why Kentucky and West Virginia will vote for Trump:
The reasons are deep and persistent. Over 100 years ago, large-scale coal mining came into our homeland and tore it all to hell. We’ve seen mine disasters and polluted streams. We know all about dependency and addiction. Yet we really miss the paychecks and the good times in our communities when coal employment was high.
Good stuff - definitely worth a read.