We’ve all heard about the damage the Environmental Protection Agency is doing to Appalachian coal communities through its unprecedented new emissions standards and unilateral regulations. But now it appears the damage is spreading miles outside of Appalachia to all of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
That’s because one of the commonwealth’s most lucrative sources of revenues is through the coal severance tax – a tax imposed on coal miners for removing resources from Bluegrass turf.
Just five months ago, Kentucky lawmakers passed a budget with the expectation that revenue from the coal tax would be $333 million – down from recent years but no small sum. Well, thanks to factors including the current administration’s promise to bankrupt Kentucky’s most prized natural resource, Kentucky’s Joint Committee on Energy and Environment now projects coal severance revenue to be nearly $100 million less than expected. And that’s after only five months!
Because of the drop in the severance tax, many Kentucky counties are going to have to sacrifice public infrastructure projects that could have provided desperately needed jobs. So we see again that the damage the EPA’s war on coal is having on Kentucky families is all too real.