Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

How Energy Can Help School Districts ; Pipeline Projects Could Expand Tax

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

How Energy Can Help School Districts ; Pipeline Projects Could Expand Tax

Article excerpt

The heartbreaking effects of market forces and a federal regulatory onslaught on Appalachia stretch far beyond discouraging headlines about lost mining and energy jobs and mounting budget pressures from declining severance tax revenue. Just look at Boone County, where about 40 school district employees resigned amid an ongoing budget crisis triggered by the states economic downturn and losses in energy-related property tax value.

The positions now left vacant include assistant principals, teachers, coaches and special education teachers positions formerly held by many of those our children looked up to.

Communities and hard-working families in West Virginia deserve a better future than this.

While it might be obvious, this is precisely why Consumer Energy Alliance recently launched the Pipelines for America campaign, which aims to educate families, households and small businesses across the nation about the increasing importance of U.S. energy infrastructure to their health, wallets and communities, and what it could mean for states like West Virginia hit hard by mining job losses.

Energy is a critical ingredient that powers literally every American industry everything from agriculture and automotive to chemicals and steel.

When energy costs increase, its a direct hit on various sectors bottom lines. Price spikes in energy also act as a regressive tax for families, seniors living on fixed incomes and those with incomes below the poverty level.

Mountaineers know this better than most.

Despite the economic headwinds, West Virginia is blessed with low- cost affordable electricity and a vibrant manufacturing and industrial sector that stands to benefit from expanding pipeline infrastructure where large amounts of stranded Marcellus Shale gas need to get to marketplaces.

It also remains in position to be a key driver in the petrochemical manufacturing renaissance, and its strategic location is ideal from an infrastructure perspective. …

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