As Justice predicted, mining increase in WV boosts economy
REUTERS: coal sees 60% jump
CHARLESTON, WV — The U.S. Department of Commerce released a report showing that West Virginia had the 2nd highest GDP growth in the country in the first quarter of 2017. The report cited a 21.6 percent increase in mining activity nationwide as the reason for the uptick. West Virginia had the second fastest growth of any state in nation for the first quarter at 3%.
According to a new Reuters analysis, U.S. coal exports have jumped more than 60 percent this year due to soaring demand from Europe and Asia.
“I know the coal business like the back of my hand and the current spike in the coal market was one I saw coming, and our state Legislature refused to listen,” said Governor Jim Justice. “If you go back to the October 2016 debates for governor, I said that coal would rebound and that our severance tax collection would go up. Some people laughed at the time and they were totally wrong.”
VIDEO: Justice predicts coal comeback during 2016 campaign. Click here to watch.
Justice added, “Because the Legislature failed to listen to the experts and my knowledge of the energy market they cut the budget and hurt our people when they didn’t have to. The good news about coal confirms that we could have and should have been prepared to take advantage of increased severance tax revenue.”
The Governor continued, “This is good news but we are not out of the woods just yet because the energy jobs haven’t materialized in West Virginia just yet. We need to be in a position to capitalize on this coal rebound, and continue to look to diversify our economy while looking for ways to get more miners back to work.”