Celebrating the Blessings of a Coal-Based Economy: Who Needs Teeth When You've Got Cheap Power?

07/05/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

West Virginia gets more of its electricity from coal than any other state. To celebrate that fact, yesterday WV Gov. Joe Manchin (D) declared coal the official state rock.

Yes, really. Coal is now the state rock of West Virginia.

But why should Manchin stop there? Having a coal-based economy has given his state so many other reasons to celebrate!

For instance, West Virginia has the lowest median household income in the U.S., and offers the least low-income weatherization assistance of any state, so perhaps Manchin could declare Sweltering in a Shack the official state pastime.

Manchin’s state comes in dead last in educational services and social assistance, but leads in citizens with disabilities, which suggests an official state motto: You’re On Your Own. And with the lowest number of college graduates of any state, and among the lowest adult literacy rates, WV definitely needs a short motto.

The state is winning the race in tooth loss and obesity, so it’s a no-brainer for Manchin to declare milkshakes the official state dessert.

You might think all this coal-economy goodness would drive West Virginians a little crazy, but with the lowest expenditures in any state on mental health services, let’s hope not!

Yes, the coal economy has been very good to West Virginia. Yay for coal!