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Study shows economic impact of longwall mining

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World Coal,

A new study by the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh has highlighted the substantial benefits longwall mining brings to two counties in the state.

Longwall mining produces 33.7 million short t of Pennsylvania’s almost 58 million short t annual bituminous coal production. It is the economic driving force in Greene and Washington Counties, according to the report, accounting for 13% of the GDP in the area and providing over 7300 jobs.

“Longwall mining has long been the economic backbone of Greene and Washington Counties,” said State Representative Pam Snyder. “This report demonstrates just how much this mining process provides in employment and taxes that drive the community in my district.”

Breaking the number down, the report found that longwall mining contributes US$1.94 billion to the counties’ economies: US$535 million in labour income; US$1.3 billion in property income; and more than US$ 81 million in indirect business taxes.

“Any public discussion about coal mining in incomplete without taking a moment to acknowledge the ‘people impact’ of our industry,” said Brian Turk, Director of Government and External Affairs at Alpha Natural Resources. “Beyond the well-paying jobs provided, coal mining is the economic backbone of entire regions of out country. When the industry struggles, so do our communities.”

The report was prepared for the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance and follows a report released last year that showed the economic impact of coal statewide. “This new report draws the data down to the community level and shows the connections between the high quality of life in the region and the family-sustaining jobs provided by the industry,” said John Pippy, CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance.

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