For decades, West Virginia has looked to the government to solve their economic problems, only to find themselves falling further behind. Today, West Virginia has the lowest economic freedom of any state in America. Regulations and expensive lawsuits have driven businesses out, leaving one last major industry: coal.
As WVU Professor of Economics Russ Sobel says in this video, coal is an industry that's captive, it can't "pick up and leave" the state.
What state bureaucrats haven't done to force coal jobs out of the state, cap-and-trade will accomplish. As coal plants' operating costs skyrocket, it will be more profitable to provide goods and services in another state or, more likely, overseas. When West Virginia's last economic lifeline disappears, what will happen to the people who live there?
If cap-and-trade passes, it would be harmful for all of us, but it would be particularly devastating to West Virginia.