Budget Beat

July 1st, 2014 by
Why is West Virginia GDP Up and Employment Down? Fracking?

Workforce West Virginia recently released 2013 data on employment and wages that show West Virginia has about 7,000 fewer jobs (on average) in 2013 than it did in 2012. In contrast, two weeks ago the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released state data for real Gross Domestic Product growth that showed West Virginia's economy grew…

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March 6th, 2014 by
What Did the House Do to the Future Fund?

Yesterday, the House Judiciary and Finance Committees both amended and passed out  Senate Bill 461 and Senate Joint Resolution 14 that creates the West Virginia Future Fund. The amendments made several modifications to how much revenue will flow into the fund over time, how the principal of the fund is protected, and how the state…

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February 27th, 2014 by
The Future Fund Can Build a Better West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate has unanimously passed SB 461 that creates the West Virginia Future Fund and an accompanying resolution (SJR 14) to make the natural gas and oil severance tax fund constitutionally protected (inviolate). As most readers know, the WVCBP has championed the idea for several years and we are excited the state is…

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December 23rd, 2013 by
Coal Production Shifting to Northern West Virginia

Nothing highlights the shift in Appalachian coal production more than Boone and Marshall County, West Virginia. For as long as I can remember, Boone County was always #1 in coal production. Today,  Marshall County, which is located in the north-west part of the state, is the state's biggest coal producer at 17.2 million tons (compared…

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October 10th, 2013 by
Moving Toward an Energy Transition

The Charleston Gazette had another timely editorial on Monday (I've been out of town all week) urging West Virginians to embrace the state's changing energy economy by creating solutions for the ongoing transition. As the chart below highlights, coal production has declined markedly over the last decade while natural gas is at unprecedented levels. As…

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