With the shale oil and gas boom, West Virginia has a second chance.
Yet it may not be as simple as it sounds.
Coal severance revenues are declining due to changes in the coal market, caused partly by the
Obama administration's aggressive anti-coal stance.
The state is looking for an additional $400 million a year for bridge and roadway improvements. House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, makes a good point when he says it will be a hard sell to sock money away while raising taxes for roadway infrastructure.
State Republicans also want to eliminate the state's regressive inventory and warehouse tax and use some severance revenues to replace that job killer.
Fortunately, statements from the legislative leadership indicate an understanding that the shale boom is not the time to spend recklessly and fund pet projects.
The citizens of West Virginia appreciate the leadership's investigation of worthwhile programs in other states, and look forward to seeing a thoughtful long-term plan to strengthen West Virginia now and in the future.