Could "Green Energy" Replace Coal?


John Adams once observed that "[f]acts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." As the Obama Administration intensifies its push to "wean" the Nation off its "dependence" on coal in favor of "green" energy through enactment of the "Cap and Trade" bill and imposition of onerous regulations, there are stubborn facts that should be borne in mind as we weigh the impact of this effort on our Nation and our State.

Today, the coal industry employs 30,000 individuals in West Virginia with a payroll of nearly $2 billion per year. It accounts for over 60% of the State's business tax revenue. In addition, it generates approximately $70 million in property and $214 million in severance taxes annually. Coal generates 99% of the State's total electricity and is the reason why West Virginians have among the lowest electric rates in the Nation.

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