W.Va. must strive to spur economic development

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Most state residents are aware officials in Charleston have struggled to balance the budget the past three years.

But as West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy analyst Sean O’Leary pointed out recently to Staff Writer Jeremiah Shelor, it could have been much worse.

 O’Leary and others have correctly pointed out that West Virginia without the Marcellus Shale boom would be like Kansas, where lawmakers are having to make drastic cuts in an attempt to balance the budget.

Even with the Marcellus boom, the state was about $100 million in the hole when trying to balance expenditures and revenues.

“We had $100 million budget gaps some of those years, but the budget gaps would’ve been a whole lot worse had we not had that natural gas boom,” O’Leary said. “And if you go back and look at what they were projecting at that time, nobody anticipated the Marcellus boom. So we sort of lucked into only having $100 million budget gaps, as opposed to the bigger budget gaps they saw in Kansas.”

We should be thankful for Marcellus’ positive economic impact…

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