March 11, 2016

Coal industry subsidies in Virginia

Did you know? . . . that fewer than 3000 Virginians work in the coal industry, according to the Virginia Conservation Network. In 1988, more than 11,000 made a living from this fossil fuel. And yet $610 million of Virginia tax dollars have been poured into this declining industry over the last few decades. More than $37 million last year alone, an increase of $9 million over 2014.

Senate Bill 44 will extend these subsidies during the next five years, unless Governor McAuliffe vetoes the bill.

Subsidies for any industry means that government is picking winners and losers, with OUR money. Is it fair? Or would it be better to invest these dollars in re-training programs for those still struggling in this dirty industry.