Regarding the March 27 printing Today’s Focus: “Crusader: A fight for coal industry,” there are a couple of things that struck me as very peculiar about the placement of this article in our local paper, as well as the way the article presents this very complex environmental issue as one of a simple battle between a “rising GOP star in West Virginia” and the EPA.
The Garden Island is a wonderful local newspaper. The national and international news is handy to keep us islanders up to speed in most cases. However, I cannot help but wonder why this “focus” article would be chosen for publication. The article is about the work of a man in West Virginia who was elected as attorney general, and who is taking on President Obama’s clean power plan as his primary cause as AG for West Virginia. He and a group of like-minded pro-coal politicians have effectively frozen the EPA’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
First, I feel this is madness in the face of global warming. Second, I cannot see how this activity in West Virginia merits a focus article in your paper.
Be that as it may, some very easy research reveals that this guy spent over $1.4 million of his own money to get elected to this office. This would be very odd, except the reality is, it is not his money. This money was “loaned” to him. It is certain this “dark money” is money that came from pro-coal interests, anti-global warming interests who may have realize lower profits should these regulations be enforced, as well as funding from other well funded ultra right wing libertarian organizations (tax deductable think tanks used to launder this dark money). The dark money in this case has been further laundered by way of a “loan” to the good AG from unknown and un-named sources. It is clear to me this guy was bought and paid for by the coal industry and others. See Dark Money by Jane Mayer.
I felt the article presented this GOP stooge was some kind of hero; a little David taking on the Goliath of the EPA. This is not the case. This guy’s $1.4 million campaign was funded by some of the wealthiest companies and families in the US. You can bet this Patrick Morrisey is not doing this out of a sense of moral rectitude or fairness to the coal miners.
Truth is, he is doing this for cold hard cash into his pocket, and he should be vilified as another example of the corrupting force of money in politics. Once again a tiny but wealthy minority are trying to hold the rest of us hostage by way of purchasing elected officials.
So why did this article, out of countless others available, come to be printed in our Kauai newspaper? Was it to rally the cause of the pro-business-at-all-cost libertarians who want to abolish the EPA? Or was it to show us a shining example of a public servant taking on big government? Perhaps it was to ring the alarm that decisions in far-away places will have a direct effect on places like our Kauai. Global warming will have a very significant effect to our island, and we cannot let some small-minded yet well-heeled politicians use slogans and spin to keep us from doing what is right for the environment.
Timothy Beaver is a resident of Koloa.