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Natural Resources and Government Subsidies

2 min read

A long time ago I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what my political leanings were but, over time, things have become muddled and I can't easily say I align with one ideology or party. It seems, as I learn more, my position on all sorts of topics changes every day. Thus I'm going to attempt to focus on some of those ideas here and see where I end up. Thus, if you aren't interested in politics at all please just ignore these posts. To all others I'd love to read your civil discussion in the comments.

I live in West Virginia a state that seems to live and die with their prime natural resource Coal. Coal mining is a tricky topic because it drives a lot of our economy but also is a real wedge issue in the state due to the environmental issues surrounding coals extraction. My concern around the industry, however, isn't limited to just the potential environmental damage it does to our state but rather then financial damage.

I don't claim to be an investigative journalist so please bear with as I try to sort out some of the numbers that get thrown around concerning Coal and West Virginia. I think the most telling statistic is what the actual cost of Coal Mining is to the state. According to a study by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy "the total net impact on the WV state budget in FY 2009 amounted to a net cost to the state of $97.5 million."