Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

MondayMay 1, 2023

Gone Hiking

Gone hiking.   I’ll be back… when I get to the end of the trail. Hop

FridayApril 28, 2023

The Knowns and Unknowns of the WV Senate Race

We are more than a year away from the West Virginia Primary Election and a year-and-a-half before the 2024 General Election, but the political chatter in the Mountain State is already at a high volume. Two-term Governor Jim Justice is officially in the race for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Joe Manchin. Representative

ThursdayApril 27, 2023

The EPA Prepares To Go After Fossil Fuel Power Plants… Again

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of a West Virginia-led coalition that Congress did not grant President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that burn fossil fuels. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion: “A decision of such magnitude and consequences rests

WednesdayApril 26, 2023

Will Trump Back Justice, Mooney or None of the Above?

Governor Jim Justice is expected to announce Thursday night that he is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Joe Manchin. West Virginia Republican Congressman Alex Mooney and coal miner Chris Rose have already announced their candidacies. To simplify things, here is how the leading candidates are going

TuesdayApril 25, 2023

WVU: Land Grant 2.0

West Virginia University is pivoting. The state’s flagship land grant institution is facing a significant budget shortfall, not only now, but in the years to come. The University projects a $45 million shortfall for fiscal year 2024, and that could rise to $75 million over the next five years. (Brad McElhinny reports here.) The primary

MondayApril 24, 2023

Mike Lindell’s Election Conspiracy Theory Debunked

Mike Lindell must have been feeling confident. The businessman famous for his My Pillow bedding products had acquired computer data he believed would show China’s interference with the 2020 election. The information would support claims by he and others that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. Lindell even convened a “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux

FridayApril 21, 2023

Fate of Pleasants Power is a Harbinger of Future Electricity Generation

The State Public Service Commission is deciding what should be done with the Pleasants Power Station. Energy Harbor, which owns the coal-fired power plant in Pleasants County along the Ohio River, is going carbon-free so it has targeted the plant for closure at the end of May. First Energy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison

ThursdayApril 20, 2023

Big Money in Early for WV Senate Race

A political action committee with connections to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is delivering early body blows to Senator Joe Manchin well ahead of the 2024 election. Politico reported One Nation PAC is spending $1 million on media ads in the Mountain State attacking Manchin for supporting the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act. The ad shows Manchin

WednesdayApril 19, 2023

Wall Street Signs Off on WV Tax Cut

The West Virginia Legislature’s 2023 regular session had been over only a matter of hours when the state was contacted by the Public Resource Advisory Group (PRAG), the state’s bond advisors. PRAG was following up on requests it had received by two of the nationally recognized bond rating agencies—Moody’s and Fitch.* They wanted details on

TuesdayApril 18, 2023

Yes, We Know it’s a Crisis. Now Fix it.

State government’s attention to the shortage of jail and prison correction officers feels like a wash, rinse, repeat cycle. Legislators and state Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation commissioner William Marshal rehashed the ongoing crisis during a legislative interim committee meeting Sunday. There are over 1,000 vacancies. The vacancy rate averages 27 percent, but it is

MondayApril 17, 2023

Alex Mooney’s Template for a Primary Victory

When and if West Virginia Governor Jim Justice enters the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2024, he will start with a significant advantage over 2nd District Representative Alex Mooney. A recent poll of likely Republican and Independent voters shows Justice at 55 percent, Mooney at 24 percent and 21 percent undecided. The

FridayApril 14, 2023

The Never Ending Water and Sewer Work in West Virginia

Clean drinking water and responsible disposal of wastewater are two primary characteristics of a safe community. West Virginia has 596 separate water and sewer utility systems, and according to the state Public Service Commission, “Over time, some have fallen into disrepair and struggle to provide customers with safe, adequate and affordable service.” The American Society

ThursdayApril 13, 2023

MVP: Delay, Delay, Delay

Last February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a detailed opinion that the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia is “not likely to jeopardize” federally protected species of fish, bats and one plant. I wrote at the time that the protracted legal and permitting fight over the natural gas

WednesdayApril 12, 2023

Monongalia County Commissioner Takes on Panhandling

Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom says panhandling in his county has gotten out of control. “The problem has gone past a serious concern; it’s now an epidemic,” he said on Talkline Monday. Bloom is talking about the panhandling at busy intersections and in downtown Morgantown. “You have innocent people being harassed, and the government

TuesdayApril 11, 2023

Dueling Court Rulings Cause Abortion Confusion

It has been almost a year now since the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively sending the question of abortion back to the states. States have responded in one of two ways—some have outlawed abortion, while others have reaffirmed the legality of the procedure. But in every state, the decisions have

MondayApril 10, 2023

Powerful PAC Commits Big Money to WV Races

Unless you follow politics very closely, news about the Club for Growth won’t mean much to you.  However, take note because the organization is going to be a major player in the 2024 election in West Virginia. The Club for Growth is the largest unaffiliated political action committee in the country. This conservative PAC has

FridayApril 7, 2023

Happy Easter and Happy Passover

Some notes about Easter and religion as we begin the holiday: –West Virginians are among the most religious of any state’s population, but not the most religious. World Population Review reports that Alabama is at the top of the list with 77 percent of adults who say they are religious. West Virginia is seventh at

ThursdayApril 6, 2023

Bragg’s Flimsy Case Against Trump

The People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump reads like a criminal case wannabe. Perhaps with enough ominous sounding words—fraudulently falsified, criminal conduct—the reader could be convinced of Trump’s felonious deeds. Good try, but the layering of charges and the strained attempt to link the false accounting of the payment to

WednesdayApril 5, 2023

Female Police Officers Who Trained at State Police Academy Want Answers

An attorney investigating the camera hidden in the women’s locker room at the West Virginia State Police Training Academy said she has heard from more than twenty individuals who want to know if they were secretly recorded. “The number continues to grow,” said Teresa Toriseva on Talkline Tuesday. “The number of inquiries has especially surprised even

TuesdayApril 4, 2023

Poll Shows Jim Justice With Big Advantage in Senate Race

Governor Jim Justice is expected to announce soon that he is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2024, and a new poll indicates Justice will enter the race with a big lead. The poll of likely Republican and Independent primary voters shows Justice at 55 percent, versus Congressman and declared Senate