Kentucky Energy Policy Failing Kentuckians
The Heritage Foundation recently pointed out that energy-producing states have fared rather well in the recent years of the financial crisis:
Household income rose faster in North Dakota than any other state between 2005 and 2010. Only the District of Columbia -- home to the bloated federal government and overpaid bureaucrats -- had a bigger increase, according to U.S. Census data. Three other energy-producing states -- Colorado, West Virginia and Wyoming -- rounded out the top five.
North Dakota was one of only 14 states (and the District of Columbia) to experience a rise in household income between 2005 and 2010, according to the most recent Census data. The overall U.S. average during that time declined 4.4 percent. (Complete ranking of all 50 states.)
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Kentucky is the fifth-highest energy producing state in the US, right behind West Virginia. Yet while West Virginia has seen a 5.2% increase in median incomes over the past decade, Kentucky has lagged, with incomes barely rising.
Much of this is no doubt attributable to a federal government hostile to Kentucky's production of coal, but that doesn't explain how West Virginia has seen success while Kentucky stagnated. The difference with our neighbor points to a difference in state policy, and a failure on the part of our elected leaders to capitalize on an advantage we all know Kentucky possesses.