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Southeastern States

Our Work in West Virginia

Recognizing the potential impacts of the clean energy transition on coal communities, UCS is working to study the potential for economic diversification in the heart of coal country, including economic analyses and outreach efforts that help inform the conversation about the future of West Virginia.

Phone survey of West Virginia voters

As part of this effort, UCS commissioned a phone survey of West Virginia voters and discovered surprising support for economic diversification and the creation of the West Virginia Future Fund (respondants even supported raising taxes on the coal industry to help pay for it). For more details, you can read the topline results or explore the full data.

A Bright Economic Future for the Mountain State

On September 3-4, 2013, state leaders took part in a UCS-sponsored forum and described their visions for West Virginia in 30 years, taking an objective and critical look at opportunities for future economic development.

The forum served to spark an honest, objective, and open discussion that centered on solutions, not problems, and highlighted community leaders who are already achieving success in creating new opportunities and a brighter future for us all.

Economic analysis on the potential for diversification

UCS conducted an economic analysis on how projected future coal production might impact West Virginia’s economy. Published in Environmental Research Letters, the analysis reinforces the critical need to diversify the state’s economy, and offers recommendations to policymakers on alternative economic development strategies.

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