Letters: June 6, 2014, Chemical leak, New Yorker piece
Taxpayers shouldn’t absorb cost of spill
Poisoning our precious water, and all subsequent costs, is the coal industry’s responsibility. The entire cost of environmental damage, the cost of studying over the long term and treating the consequential health damages, even the added repairs, overtime and filter replacement costs, the cost to the taxpayers directly or indirectly associated for all DEP and other city, county, state and federal agencies should be assessed and collected from the coal industry, its owners and shareholders. We citizens and taxpayers should not be picking up the tab. And none of these costs should be allowed in any ratepayer PSC petition.
While poor regulatory watchdogging at DEP and inept management at Freedom Industries played a factor in the spill, the existence of MCHM in local storage tanks, and the risks involved, would not be there if the coal industry did not require their existence to function. It’s a hidden cost of coal that is now in the open.
We taxpayers did not request that drink. It’s their tab. Make them pay.
Thoughts about New Yorker Piece
With regard to Evan Osnos’ New Yorker piece, “Chemical Valley,” I have two perhaps contradictory thoughts:
1) I wish A. James Manchin were here to defend the state’s honor, and
2) Mother Jones — A staunch atheist — is somewhere saying, “This is exactly what I meant when I said ‘When I pass over I am going to tell God about West Virginia.’”
H. John Rogers