Imagine what a more responsible leader of "coal country" would do. (Senator Mitch)McConnell could easily go to the president and demand a major program to transform the region, a Tennessee-Valley-Authority-sized program that would make coal country a center for manufacturing windmills and solar panels and other renewable sources of energy. He could demand funds for rebuilding the region's energy infrastructure, for investing in its schools, for retraining its workers. He could argue that any just transition must include a real promise of jobs - with the government as the employer of last resort if necessary. He could demand investment in new hospitals and public health facilities, both to care for the miners afflicted from their work in the mines and to be a source of employment and good health in the future. He could be the leader who launches a long overdue renaissance for the region, rather than trying to hang on desperately to its no longer sustainable past.
But of course to do that, McConnell would have to represent the common good of his constituents rather than the special interests - the oil and coal companies - that helped pay for his campaign.