LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The Christmas wish list is now history and as the new year is just days away, the time has come for setting new goals and dreams for the upcoming year.
While most realize that a new year symbolizes a new beginning, the past events continue to play a prominent role in what the coming year brings.
As with every new year and throughout that year, the focus of most citizens is their immediate family. Whether the primary concern centers around financial and spiritual stability, or the many who deal with drug abuse and other personal problems, a new year always ignites a spark of new hope.
As of late, concern for the state of the state and state of our nation takes precedence beyond immediate personal issues. The past several decades have brought despair to the citizens of this state, beginning with the elimination of tobacco production during the Clinton Administration. Such action, although warranted due to the rising rates of cancer from tobacco use, put many Kentuckians in a lower financial brackett as a major source of revenue was eliminated from their annual income. While the financial settlements paid off many farmers, this secondary — and sometimes primary — source of income was terminated, leaving many families struggling to replace this income in order to support their families.
The recent “War on Coal” launched by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has further attacked the resources and income that many Kentuckians depended on for revenue. The stricter regulations on mining efforts not only thwarted coal miners, it also affects those in the construction business as new roads through the mountain area of the state were stopped or delayed while the EPA conducted its investigations into the waterways along those areas. Many construction workers were unemployed until these investigations were completed — once again leaving many Kentuckians standing in the unemployment line while the governmental support of stricter regulations and inspections placed the state’s progress in precarious positions. As the demand for elimination of coal as a source of electricity continues, there is almost a guaranteed jump in the costs of electricity for the majority of Kentuckians.