Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Democrats miss the mark on fossil fuels stances in Appalachia, writes rural Ohio newspaper editor

Rick Greene
Arguments over climate change and fossil fuels are an election-year mainstay, one that coal-country Appalachians give particular attention to, but both sides tend to dig in their heels and little progress is made. Though climate change is patently real, and Democratic politicians should be commended for taking a more aggressive approach to the issue, they still don't understand how many Appalachians see the issue, writes Rick Greene, editor and publisher of Southern Ohio Today in Waverly, south of Chillicothe.

"Democrats are missing the mark in Appalachia, which in recent years has become more politically potent because of its impact in key swing states. 'Renewable energy' is the darling catch phrase, and energy solutions that center around renewables are at the heart of the Democratic platform," Greene writes. "Their problem is every time people in many parts of Appalachia hear that language, they also hear an unspoken assault on the coal industry and fossil fuel industries that are a strong part of the region’s economic health. Therefore, the solution — from either party — cannot be that climate goals are to be achieved at the expense of the livelihoods of the people of Appalachia and the fossil fuel industries."

If Democrats want Appalachians to be more receptive to their environmental goals, they must reassure such voters that those goals won't come at the expense of jobs and the local economy, Green writes.

1 comment:

Warren said...

So, a Green New Deal that respects and empowers working people in legacy industries?