Fortunately, county commissioners in the Northern Panhandle seem more concerned about doing their jobs at the least cost possible to taxpayers than with social engineering. That cannot be said everywhere in West Virginia, however.
Kent Carper, president of the Kanawha County Commission, apparently wants to be viewed as a "green" public official. To that end, he wants to use public money to promote alternative vehicle fuels.
In particular, Carper has suggested the county should give the Charleston Area Alliance $50,000 to help establish something called a "Kanawha Converts" consortium. The idea would be to promote use of natural gas in cars and trucks. More natural gas service stations and better gas vehicle technology are needed, Carper points out.
Well, yes. But $50,000 from the Kanawha County Commission to talk about all that will result in - dare we say it - no more than hot air.
Fifty thousand dollars would cover a deputy sheriff's pay for a year. It could pave a rural county road. It could do lots of things for taxpayers.
Northern Panhandle public officials have welcomed the gas industry and worked with it for the good of our area. Meanwhile, they have tried to use public money realistically. Let's hope Carper's delusions of grandeur don't rub off on them.