Op-Ed

A solid Eisenhower Republican, some shaky strip-mined land

EnerBlu announces plan that would bring hundreds of jobs to Eastern Kentucky

EnerBlu announces plans to bring jobs, battery manufacturing plant to Eastern Kentucky. The company, currently based in Riverside, Calif., plans to build a $372 million plant in Pikeville.
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EnerBlu announces plans to bring jobs, battery manufacturing plant to Eastern Kentucky. The company, currently based in Riverside, Calif., plans to build a $372 million plant in Pikeville.

When the Kentucky Supreme Court lost Justice Daniel Venters to retirement, it lost one of the best writers that court has enjoyed.

The Supreme Court is a good place for good writing, but sadly the audience is limited and consists of relic lawyers who still read.

Mr. Justice Venters’ established in one of his more colorful and thoughtful opinions the right of a drunk person to sleep it off on his own porch. A man got drunk and got arrested for being passed out on his own porch.

In reversing his conviction, Justice Venters declared that, if you are drunk, the most socially acceptable and legal thing to do is to hurry to your porch and sleep it off.

But two weeks ago, the retired jurist took to his pen to defend the judiciary against diatribe from a fellow Republican.

Well, sort of.

Being from Somerset, one presumes that Justice Venters’ Republicanism was informed by the likes of John Sherman Cooper. This was called Eisenhower Republicanism and was a far cry from the bellicose rantings of Trump and Trump Lite. You can be an Eisenhower Republican and be on the Supreme Court and nobody will know or care how you are registered because it won’t matter.

Every legislator who voted for the pension bill despite its not having been passed according to the clear language of the Constitution knew better, but hey, tradition is tradition.

Every judge who ever upheld bills thusly passed knew better. Every lawyer who argued that you can pass laws at midnight of the last day without anybody reading them knew better. The governor knows better.

Free now from literary constraint, let us know hope that the old judge guy will write for everybody.

Not to change the subject, but a company named Enerblu found out in Pikeville what is becoming increasingly apparent: you cannot build on mountain land that has been mined, no matter how flat it may look. For years, even when I was an Eisenhower Republican, I have reported one after another failed attempt to utilize land after strip mining, and I was happy each time there was another failure.

The site preparation at the federal prison in Martin County, on such a place, was said to be the most expensive site preparation in the history of the federal government, and still prisoners there could escape through cracks in the ground.

Mining involves removing layers of the earth, leaving what is left above with not much to stand on. In the mountains, motels have cracked, buildings have died young and you could colonize the moon for the cost of providing roads and water and utilities to those ghost ranches in the sky, where mythical cowboys ride in mythical pastures and mythical grapes from mythical vineyards are squeezed (we would say squozen) to be trampled by the natives into money.

Such are the icons of coal, which are now being busted one by one, leaving us to hope that our precious landscape may resist further desecration.

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