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W.Va. Stinks at Curbing Car Pollution, But Uncle Willie’s Comin’!

By Staff | Jul 29, 2008

This week in the Charleston Beat I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. What do you want to hear about first? All right, I just noticed you can’t respond, so I’m going to make the decision for you. How about the bad news?

Reports are filing in about our state and our apparent inability to do all we can to reduce gas prices. The Natural Resources Defense Council ranked West Virginia as the seventh worst state in the nation in terms of positive actions implemented to reduce our dependence on oil. Coincidentally, West Virginians are the most at risk from high gas prices. The NRDC report ranked our state 11th in the country of percentage of annual income spent by the consumer on gasoline on average. The report then goes on to say West Virginia has little to no work in incentives or programs for driving hybrid vehicles, greenhouse gas emission standards or restrictions on idling. On top of all this, the report states that our involvement for grant research on possible vehicle fuels has no low-carbon fuel standard and clean fueling station incentives.

So, that’s not good.

While that piece of bad news is for the grown ups, there seems to be a downer for youngsters as well. Gov. Manchin has publicly said that he is considering the value of having year round schooling in West Virginia. The normal three-month vacation in the summer would be replaced by a three-week vacation. The pros of implementing a year round school year according to teachers and experts would be fewer absences, improved behavior, as well as general knowledge retention. The cons would be a total re-haul of the message and joy of Alice Cooper’s famous song, “School’s Out.”

So on to the good news, eh Charleston? Tickets go on sale Friday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. for Willie Nelson’s return to West Virginia with a special show at The Clay Center. Prices range from $30 to $75, but that is a small price to pay to see a living legend, right? Right.

Also, for those of you with family members out of state who always tease you that we don’t have Verizon, be prepared to have your revenge as towers are scheduled to activate in the fall for Charleston and Huntington.

Contact Ben at bspanner@graffitiwv.com