Humanitarian Disaster From Electricity Crisis Grows in Coalfields, As Coal Baron Entertains PGA Golf Tour, Rock Stars
Posted: 07/06/2012 9:41 pm
Author of forthcoming book, State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream
As reports of revamped mountaintop removal operations and detonations continue to rock the electricity-bereft disaster areas in the West Virginia coalfields, ailing residents -- entering their second week of a mounting humanitarian crisis -- expressed disbelief and contempt for the inaction of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and multimillionaire coal baron Jim Justice. Both of these men have been accused of making sure the PGA golf tournament at the Greenbrier Resort lit up in joyfully air-conditioned clubhouses and parties.
"William Shakespeare once famously wrote 'The show must go on,'" West Virginia broadcaster Bob Kincaid said. "Marie Antoinette said, in a piqué of cluelessness, 'Let them eat cake.' This week, we have seen both converge in a blisteringly hot West Virginia."
With more than 137,000 West Virginians still without power after last Friday's epic storm, according to news reports, Kincaid said the antiquated coal-fired grid defended by Gov. Tomblin had exposed the devastating stranglehold by Big Coal-bankrolled politicians who have kept the state from diversifying its energy sources and updating its out of date grid. An estimated 90 Appalachian Power distribution substations were toppled last week. Since then, residents have attempted to fend off brutal summer temperatures without electricity, along with shortages of food, water and gas.
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