- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A study finds that incentives for West Virginia utilities to use more coal produced in the state would support nearly 200 jobs and generate $34 million in economic activity.

The West Virginia University study was commissioned by the state Department of Revenue after the homegrown coal proposal was debated by the Legislature last year.

The WVU study found that in 2013, utilities and other coal users in West Virginia used 31 million tons of coal. Forty-one percent was imported from outside the state.

The study looked at the potential impact of two policies that would provide incentives to use in-state coal.

The researchers found that the policies would increase coal demand for West Virginia producers by about a half a million tons of coal and support up to 196 jobs.

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