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Combating Mountaintop RemovalNew Directions in the Fight against Big Coal$
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Bryan T. McNeil

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036439

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036439.001.0001

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Whose Development Is It?

Whose Development Is It?

(p.113) 6. Whose Development Is It?
Combating Mountaintop Removal

Bryan T. McNeil

University of Illinois Press

This chapter analyzes how West Virginia's economic development policies and practices, built on neoliberal influences, systematically favor the coal industry and fail to create a diverse economy or reduce poverty. The most striking characteristic of West Virginia's economic development is that there seems to be no focus on the quality of jobs created. As a policy, the state's economic development efforts do not form a coherent and effective plan to create jobs and long-term economic growth in West Virginia. Projects like the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trails, racetracks, and baseball stadiums create geographically isolated, relatively low-paying service jobs that typically offer no benefits. Implicitly, the state's various development policies protect Coal's status as the dominant economic engine in southern West Virginia.

Keywords:   West Virginia, economic development, neoliberalism, coal industry, diverse economy, poverty, economic growth

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