Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 27, 1976 · Page 48
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 48

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 27, 1976
Page 48
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Page 48 article text (OCR)

Richard L. Strout What This Country Is All About WASHINGTON-Every now and then we ought to take a little time off, gc into a quiet place, and try to figure out what America is all about . Not too often, maybe: it shouldn't be a burden to us and it's habit-forming: but we might better understand the course ahead, perhaps, by occasionally glancing back. One place to start is the creaking sign of Lemuel Cox's tavern 200 years ago: 4 pence a night for bed 6 pence with pot luck 2 pence for housekeeping No more than 5 to sleep in one bed No boots to be worn in bed No razor grinders or tinkers to be taken in No dogs allowed in the kitchen Organ grinders to sleep in the wash house That was how you traveled in those days. And just about that time a group of men who were deadly serious and in grave danger were meeting in Carpenters Hall. Philadelphia, to hear what kind of statement Tom Jefferson had worked out in his upstairs lodgings at the brickmaker's to go with the resolution of independence offered by Richard Henry Lee. They would vote on it this week. "Do you recollect," Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote John Adams long after, "the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one by one, to the table of the president of the Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be their own death warrants?" Yes. and Gen. Howe about that time was joined by 127 tall-masted ships loaded with troops off New York, till the harbor, people said, looked like a forest. .On the day Congress voted in Philadelphia, Gen. Sunday Gazette-Mail Chartefton. H". June 27,1976 PaeeSE Howe landed 9,300 men on Staten Island unopposed. · IN THIS Bicentennial business of refreshing our spirit at the spring of our origin some of the words of Walter Lippmann, as usual, put it better than anything else: "Our civilization can be maintained and restored only by remembering and rediscovering the truths, and by re-establishing the virtuous habits on which it was founded. There is no use looking into the blank future for some new and fancy revelation of what man needs in order to live. The revelation has been made. .." The revelation, of course, is mixed with legend. George Washington didn't cut the cherry tree. Patrick Henry may or may not have said, "Give me liberty or give me death." Ethan Allen didn't capture Fort Ticonderoga in the "name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress" Teacher Gets Civics Lesson Job Threat SAN DIEGO - (AP) - When Donald Parker urged his fifthgrade pupils to write a state legislator about a measure they disagreed with, he thought he was promoting a good exercise in civics. That civics lesson might get him disciplined, Parker said Saturday. The kids, mostly 11-year-olds at Sequoia Elementary School, took Parker at his word and used their own words X most of them foul X in chastising state Sen. David Robert! of Los Angeles for his vote against a coastal protection bill that proved to be the measure's demise. Parker said he urged the kids to write Robert! "in their own words" because "form letters are usually discounted" by the legislators. In retrospect, Parker thinks that might have been a mistake. When Sen. H. L. Richardson of Arcadia, got wind of the barrage of letters and their contents, he demanded that Parker be summarily fired. Richardson is a member of the Senate's Education Committee. To make matters worse, San Diego City School District Supt. Thomas Goodman was in Sacramento when the letters arrived, lobbying for passage of a school financing bill. The next day, the pupils composed a letter of apology to Roberts, and the district began an investigation of the incident. Parker called the incident a "tragedy," and said, "I didn't censor the letters. Maybe, after all this, I should have." Coal From West: Exaggerated Threat By William H. Miernyk The specter of Western coal as a threat to the West Virginia economy refuses to go away. When 1 speak or write on this subject I usually get letters from listeners or readers anxious to correct my views. Some provide examples of Western coal being burned in West Virginia, and report rumors that certain utilities plan to use increasing amounts of Western coal. My lack of dismay in the face of this evidence might appear to be a stubborn refusal to look at facts. But there are sound economic reasons for believing that the "threat" of Western coal has been grossly exaggerated. This is so despite the undeniable facts that: (a) coal production is lower in West Virginia now than it has been in the recent past, while (b) coal production is increasing rapidly in the Western states. The decline of coal production in West Virginia is temporary. Current investment in new deep mines will add at least 50 per cent to present capacity. This will more than offset mine closings due to the exhaustion of seams. Since it costs between ?30 million and $50 million to open a deep mine it is clear that operators are optimistic about the future of West Virginia coal. So is the Federal Energy Administration. FEA's latest projections--which are on the conservative side-show national coal. production rising from 603 million tons in 1974 to more than one billion tons in 1985. The Western states--which produced 92 million tons in 1974-are expected to produce 330 million tons in 1985. an increase of 313 per cent. Meanwhile, Eastern coal production is projected to rise by only 27 per cent. *· BUT ONE MUST BE WARY of looking at percentage changes alone. Eastern coal production will rise from 511 million tons in 1974. to 650 million tons in 1985. Thus Eastern mines will still account for two- thirds of national production. Moreover, Eastern coal contains more heat than Western coal, and the East will account for almost three-fourths of all heat derived from coal in 1985. And heat content is what buyers are interested in, not the coal itself. The continued concern about Western coal overlooks a number of salient economic facts: ··Energy market areas are not determined by the cost of production alone, but by delivered price which includes all handling and transportation charges. Consider, for example, the natural gas produced by active oil wells. If facilities are not at hand to transport this gas, either in its natural or liquid form, it must be flared off. At the source the cost of production is zero. But this is not enough to result in a competitive delivered price. *It might cost as little as one-third as much to mine coal from the thick seams of the West as it does in the East. But oil is - used to power the trains that deliver coal J to its customers^! takes 3.4 barrels of oii to equal the Btu in one average ton of coal. At today's prices that amounts to burning $40 per ton coal to deliver a fuel which costs only $3 per ton to produce. Such expensive transportation will limit the size of any coal field's market area, even at today's high market prices for coal. And the higher energy prices become, the more expensive it will be to ship coal. This will further limit the market areas that can be reached by Western coal. ··Finally, the demand factor is regularly overlooked when the threat of Western coal is discussed. The market areas most economically served by Western coal fields are growing faster than Eastern market areas. The projected growth of Western coal will easily be absorbed by Western markets. Indeed, to meet projected energy requirements in the West, coal will have to be supplemented by expansion of nuclear and other sources of energy. LAST YEAR THE U.S. consumed about 73 quads (quadrillion Btu) of energy. If projected conservation measures are realized, and if demand is restrained by higher prices, the nation will still need 115 quads in 1990--an annual increase of 3.9 per cent. To meet this demand coal production will have to increase by large amounts, both in the East and the West. Those who insist on worrying about the threat of Western coal will reply that, in spite of all this. Western coal a being shipped to the East, including some to West Virginia. True, but the amounts are negligible. They will also say--quite correctly--that coal production in the Mountain State has declined in recent years. True again, but this is no cause for worry. In a world tilted toward inflation with continuing energy shortages, the longer this coal is kept in the ground the more valuable it will become. There will, of course, be temporary and localized disturbances in the coal industry from time to time. Some mines will be worked out. and miners will be laid off. There might even be short periods of surplus coal production with temporary layoffs. But such disturbances--well-known to coal communities in -the past--will be brief. It is likely, however, that each will be greeted with new cries of alarm. But the long-run trend in coal production and employment on a statewide basis will be upward. The national coal industry which experienced a depression starting in 1948. and lasting for a quarter of century, can now look forward to a quarter of century of growth and prosperity. All coal-producing regions will share in this growth. Economic analysis is not likely to have much effect on the public's thinking about the future of coal, however. Various groups and organizations have their own reasons-political or otherwise-for wanting to keep the "threat" of Western coal as a live issue. Thus the specter of Western coal might turn out to be as durable as thi "boogers, witches and hainls" of Appalachian folklore. (what he said sounded more like, "Come out of there, you damned rat!" The Liberty Bell pealing out for freedom from the Philadelphia statehouse has no foundation in fact. We don't even celebrate the right day: the Declaration of Independence was adopted July 2, and John Adams exultantly wrote Abigail, "The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. Adams was wrong, of course, on the date we picked to celebrate. Who cares? What Adams gave was himself like the men around him. They had something they would give their lives f o r . Adams was small and fussy, but when a mob in Boston had plagued a sentry and the affair turned bloody, and when second cousin Sam Adams (a revolutionary agitator if there ever was one. and just the type the FBI would hound today) exultantly proclaimed "The Boston Massacre." John Adams knew better. Somebody had to defend Bri- tish Captain Preston and his seven soldiers, and he took on the task knowing full well that it would probably ruin his career. His Puritan conscience told him to. and he did it and got them off. THOSE MEN could write, too. Tom Paine's Common Sense was meant for plain men in desperate danger and desperately in earnest and its peroration still makes the spine tingle."Hearye that love mankind!" it begins. It says that "Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. 0 receive the fugitive and prepare in time an asylum for mankind." Consider that. America. The Declaration, too: "Our lives and fortunes and our sacred honor." What a phrase: it rings. We don't have to listen to the platitudes of the Bicentennial orators (Although they are doing the best they can.) Circumstances and men and deeds tell the story. George Washington seems like a stuffed shirt to many. But once at Monmouth, N.J., on a brutally hot day. the American troops began to waver and fall back. Down the road through the cloud of dust and bullets came that big white brute of a horse they knew so well with the best rider of the Colonies on it, and young Marquis de Lafayette wrote, afterwards that he "rode all long the lines amid the shouts of the soldiers; cheering them by his voice and example and restoring to our standard the fortunes of the fight. I thought then, as now, that never had I behald so superb a man." MOST GREAT movements of the world are complicated; there is a mixture of motives. It was so in the Revolution. There is refreshment in the great phrases: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." There was also simple common sense. Historian Samuel Eliot Morrison quoted an account from 1842 of the memories of a. 91-year-old veteran of the fight at Concord. Had he taken up arms against "intolerable oppressions"? "Oppressioss?" replied the old man. "I didn't feel them." Nor had he used stamps, the account ROCS on, nor paid a tea tax. He had not read the learned theoreticians and cared nothing for philosophers. "Well, then." he was asked, "what was the matter? And what did you mean in going to fight?" "Young man, what we meant in going for those Redcoats was this: We always had govern ourselves and we always meant to. They didn't mean we should." He summed up many a grievance t h a t . stirs men todav. MOORE'S BUILDING MATERIALS PRE-4TH OF JULY SALE KAISER \- ALUMINUM Install Maintenance -Free Aluminum Roofing And Siding 8' - 8.05 10' - 10.10 12' - 12.14 24 28 loosq. ft. of Moore's Is Tops In Prefinished Paneling Selections... 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