WV Center on Budget and Policy > Publications > Economic Development > Energy > The Impact of Coal on the West Virginia State Budget

The Impact of Coal on the West Virginia State Budget

June 22, 2010 by and

Coal plays a significant role in West Virginia’s economy, contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local revenue and providing well-paying jobs to tens of thousands of West Virginians. However, the size of the coal economy, while substantial, is not as considerable as previous accounts suggest. Further, such accounts have only presented coal’s benefits; our estimates provide an initial accounting of both benefits and costs. As estimated in this report, the industry itself—including its direct and indirect employees—actually costs West Virginia state taxpayers more than it provides. Such an accounting is important, for projected declines in production, should they prove accurate, will further diminish coal’s contribution to state revenues, while the negative impacts resulting from coal industry activity will result in ongoing costs to the state and its citizens. Read