State needs to look past coal
Editor:In reference to your editorial addressing the typhoon in the Philippines, you close stating that coal mining won't be helped by this weather event and acknowledging that coal is the foremost contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.I appreciate that the Gazette is at least discussing these events in the context of the reality of climate change, but what is really needed here is a little more than pointing out that this looks bad for West Virginia's coal industry.West Virginia is sadly lacking in any kind of forward thinking, dynamic, or even aware leadership. Somehow, West Virginia leaders think that they are looking out for their constituents by complaining loudly about the big bad EPA. The reality is that climate change is real and we are going to have to find new and creative ways of meeting our energy needs. Coal use is in decline and we need to find ways to continue to phase it out.Instead of beating the dead horse of how picked on we are here in West Virginia we need to find leadership that can see the opportunities that are out there and help lead us in pursuing those opportunities. Clinging desperately to an economy whose time is passing will not allow this state to move forward.Jim Probst Hamlin
Business owners support lawsuit reform
Editor:We were encouraged to read in your Nov. 20 report that the West Virginia House of Delegates has created a Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. We applaud those delegates who will be serving on the committee and, as reported, holding discussions around the state to help promote small business development.Over the summer, West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) hosted several "Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits" roundtable discussions with small business leaders. The message from small business job creators was clear: Abusive lawsuits hurt small businesses.Hopefully, members of this new legislative committee will listen to small business leaders and pass legislation to improve our legal system, such as the creation of an intermediate court of appeals and joint and several liability reform.We recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 business owners, that showed a majority of respondents (55 percent) say passing lawsuit reform would help the economy and result in more jobs in West Virginia. Our state's legal reputation is hurting our ability to attract new job creators and foster new growth among existing small businesses.
Greg ThomasExecutive DirectorWest Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Charleston