Ox protection season
aThere’s an old saying that how you see things “depends on whose ox is being gored.”
For example, those promoting a gambling casino in the Washington suburbs are telling Maryland voters about all the great jobs that will be created. They ask why those jobs should be in West Virginia and not Maryland. We’re sure the people at Charles Town Races and Hollywood Casino in Jefferson County don’t quite agree.
A similar thing happened when the U.S. Treasury Department announced this summer that they were moving 450 jobs from Prince George’s County, Md. to Parkersburg. Of course, West Virginia officials were jubilant, but Maryland officials saw it as a blow to the Washington Metro economy.
Speaking of the economy, you can certainly see a “whose ox is being gored” attitude in the economic positions of the two major parties this election year.
And, in recent years, nearly every West Virginia politician has whined about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for enforcing stricter air quality regulations. But, across the Potomac, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office joined 10 other states in forcing the EPA to require tougher soot air pollution rules by year’s end.
We guess those Mountain State politicos know what side their bread is buttered on. Of course, there are two sides to every slice and they want butter slathered heavily on both. But did you ever wonder how they reconcile the inevitable tensions between West Virginia’s coal and natural gas industries? Will it be like the railroad vs. the canal, or the cattleman vs. the sheepherder?
Those outdated coal-fired electric plants – the ones the politicians tried to defend – were in most cases replaced with cleaner gas-fired plants. Even environmental groups with deep concerns about gas fracking are happy to see the reports of cleaner air. Nationwide, there seems to be more of a move toward better fracking regulations than for an out and out ban. This may cause a division in the environmental camp between the realists and idealists.
So many things simply depend on whose ox is being gored.