The West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research has released a joint study, with Marshall University, on the role coal plays in the state economy.

The report, released last week at the West Virginia Coal Association’s annual Coal Forum in Charleston, was completed by BBER, which operates in the WVU College of Business & Economics, and the Center for Business and Economic Research at Marshall University.

Dr. Tom S. Witt, BBER director and associate dean for research and outreach at WVU’s College of Business & Economics, said the study demonstrated a need for an unbiased evaluation of the role coal plays in West Virginia’s economy and, for that reason, only publically available data was used.

The report contains historical data on the coal economy, with the major focus on industry economic contributions in 2008. The West Virginia Coal Association provided partial support for WVU and Marshall to complete the joint study.

“We hope the study will allow public policymakers to understand the economic significance that the coal economy in West Virginia made during 2008,” said Witt.

Witt will co-present an overview of the study’s findings to the West Virginia Legislature on Feb. 18 in Charleston.

To view the complete report, go to .

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CONTACT: Dr. Tom Witt, director WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research