What Helps Appalachia May Hurt Wyoming

Aug 11, 2017

Credit Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

West Virginia wants to use federal dollars to subsidize Appalachian coal. Some think that’s picking favorites — not just over natural gas and renewables, but over other coal states. 

Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney released a statement Thursday, Aug. 10, saying that using $4.5 billion taxpayer dollars to give eastern coal an advantage over western coal “would be unjust and bad economic policy.”

Powder River Basin coal competes with that in West Virginia and Appalachia. East Coast coal is closer to markets, but western coal is cheaper and cleaner.  

If the U.S. government agrees to subsidize Appalachian coal, it could put western coal at a disadvantage.

Congress would still have to approve West Virginia's proposed coal subsidy, but the state’s governor has said President Donald Trump is already on board.