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Editorial: Mountaintops

THE GOOD NEWS is that some developments finally are being planned for flattened sites left by mountaintop removal mines in West Virginia. The bad news is that taxpayers will sink millions into this effort, and the people have no voice in it.

It's commendable that philanthropist Buck Harless will create an industrial park for wood products in a decapitation site on the Mingo-Logan line. Some 100 jobs may be created within a year, and more later.

In secret, state officials pledged to spend $3 million for water and sewer lines to the site, plus $1.6 million for an access road. That's a taxpayer investment of $46,000 per initial job - more than the jobs will pay annually.

West Virginians had no chance to debate this outlay because the state Development Office hides its plans until they're irreversible. The Legislature should end this concealment.


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