West Virginia Coal Industry Seeking Relief from Legislature with Little to Give

SNL - Though West Virginia coal producers expect state officials to continue to be cooperative in tugging against the federal government's "boot on our throat," there may be little even a Republican majority in the state will be able to do to dress the wounds inflicted by an increasingly hostile energy market. Read

An industry that has, in the past, touted the massive boost it gave the state's budget, coal is now asking for a break. The challenge is that coal is asking for relief — in the form of tax reduction — at a time when the state's coffers have diminished alongside the decline of one of its primary industries.

"That would be the elephant in the room," West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said of the state's severance tax. "It's a very difficult time to be talking about that, but our idea is that would allow us to hopefully produce more coal, it would allow our coal to more attractive in terms of lowering the fuel cost to the utilities to whom were selling coal and hopefully enhance their dispatch so they are making more electricity."

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