Skip to comments.After coal, W.Va. push for natural gas trust fund
Posted on 09/14/2013 8:17:32 AM PDT by Olog-hai
For decades, coal from West Virginias vast deposits was mined, loaded on rail cars and hauled off without leaving behind a lasting trust fund financed by the states best-known commodity. Big coals days are waning, but now a new bonanza in the natural gas fields has state leaders working to ensure history doesnt repeat itself.
West Virginias Senate president, Jeff Kessler, is pushing to create an oil and natural gas trust fund to support core government functions decades from now. His goal: a cushion of funds long after the gas is depleted to buoy an Appalachian mountain state chronically vexed by poverty, high joblessness, and cycles of boom and bust. The Democratic Senate leader said the previous generation missed out on creating a permanent fund based on coal severance tax revenues.
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A trust fund for the politicians to rob.
Sounds all too familiar.
Exactly. Very poor idea which only benefits the people who control it and their buddies.
Not to be contrary here, but, I’ve often wondered why a resouce rich state such as West Virginia also has such chronic poverty among big numbers of people there. I’m sure that the extractive industries are being taxed. Do they need to pay more to alleviate poverty or other problems there?
When the gas runs out, the trust fund will be empty. Long ago spent buying votes.
If an economy is based principally on raw commodities and does not use prosperity to diversify itself, then it will be chronically weak.
Was that “slush fund” or “trust fund”?
Never mind - “six” vs “half a dozen”.
This is the first step. If you want to know where this will ultimately end up, it is called PEMEX.
Good info, thanks.
I’ve heard that Alaska residents get an annual payment of over $1,000 from their share of royalties on the oil. If politicians manage these royalties properly, then Alaska will have a permanent fund, not unlike college or charitable endowments.
The downsides of extractive industries are boom bust cycles, and also reaching a point at which the resources run out, or it becomes unprofitable to continue drilling/mining.
Democrats don’t believe in human ingenuity. It’s all one pie that never grows or changes. Scarcity is status quo, but is cured by humans. Shortages are government created.
Especially after decades of Bob Byrd siphoning untold Federal dollars to that state.
Coal companies pay royalties to leaseholders when they do not own the land they mine. They do not pay royalties to themselves when they mine the land they own.
In Alaska, two-thirds of the land is owned by the federal government. A quarter of the land is owned or controlled by the state government or municipal governments under state statutes. Most of the rest is owned by Native American tribes and administered by federally recognized tribal assemblies. Only a tiny fraction of the land is owned by private individuals.
For West Virginians to generally receive royalties, they would need to confiscate land from private owners and seize the income from the owners' pockets.
Typically, it is Communists, not conservatives, who use what is frankly stupid and childish rhetoric about "industry raping" communities.
Deals and stealing.
Wideawake - try reading a little bit of the history of WV coal mining and how the early coal companies took the private property mining rights from landowners, created “company towns”, etc. It was because of practices of these companies that unions were allowed to become so powerful in this country. We’re still paying for that today.