Energy & Economic Development

November 19, 2014 by Ted Boettner
7 Things You Need to Know About Why Coal is Declining in West Virginia (4 of 7)

In the last post, we looked at how West Virginia - especially southern West Virginia -  is being out-competed by other coal regions because of the decline in coal mining productivity that makes it cheaper to produce coal in places like Illinois and Wyoming. Not only do West Virginia coal producers face stiff competition from…

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October 23, 2014 by Ted Boettner
7 Things You Need to Know About Why Coal is Declining in West Virginia (1 of 7)

West Virginia's coal economy is not what it used to be. In 2013, coal production hit a 30-year low and employment in the industry fell to a nine-year low. While the coal industry and other like-minded people have put most, if not all, of the blame on President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency's "war…

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July 1, 2014 by Ted Boettner
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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May 28, 2014 by Sean O'Leary
Could Surging Steel Imports Lead to the Further Decline of West Virginia Manufacturing?

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute outlines the recent risk to the U.S. steel industry from a rapid increase in steel imports. According to the report, in facing the lack of demand in the aftermath of the Great Recession, steelmakers in other countries continued to add production capacity with government support. As the U.S. recovered…

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April 10, 2014 by Sean O'Leary
Assessing the Impacts of Shale Drilling: Four Community Case Studies

Executive Summary The first hydraulically fractured shale wells were drilled in Pennsylvania and West Virginia nearly a decade ago. Drawing on existing experiences in these states, and the rapid advance of hydrofracking in Ohio, we can begin to assess the effect of shale development on the most active drilling communities. As pressure mounts to increase…

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February 27, 2014 by Ted Boettner
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 23, 2013 by Ted Boettner
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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November 21, 2013 by Ted Boettner
Exaggerating the Employment Impacts of Shale Drilling: How and Why

Over the last five years, firms with an economic interest in the expansion of drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations — and their allies, supporters, and trade associations — have used a variety of tools and techniques to exaggerate the employment impacts of shale drilling. These strategies have ranged from the use of…

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October 10, 2013 by Ted Boettner
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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