Columbus – A new study oncoal-powered energy in Nebraska has found that it's a multi-billion dollar industryin the state.
Accordingto the study, conducted by the Bureau of Business Research at UNL, the use ofcoal for electricity, combined with the transportation of coal, collectivelygenerates nearly $4.9 billion in output.
Thestudy also found the combined industries contribute $1.4 billion in laborincome, and more than 22,800 jobs for the state.
Thereport, The Economic and Tax Revenue Impact of Coal Industry Activity in Nebraska,was released Monday and was prepared for the Nebraska Public Power District onbehalf of the state's coal generation utilities.
NPPDsaid they believe it is important to examine the financial impact of traditionalenergy sources like coal. NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope said "Sevencommunities throughout the state, as well as the numerous towns around them,benefit from thousands of direct and indirect jobs."
Inhis report, Dr. Eric Thompson wrote, "Coal is an important commodity inNebraska. It is used to produce electricity for consumption in Nebraska and forexport to purchasers located out of state. Coal transportation is a vibrantpart of the economy."
Thompson'sstudy found that coal contributes nearly $4.9 billion annually to the state'seconomy, and is also a big contributor to state product in Nebraska. It alsofound that the coal-fired electricity generation and coal transportationindustries generate about $142 million in taxes on income, sales and property.
NPPDsponsored the report to get an in-depth look at the economic impact from itsdiverse energy generation portfolio. A similar study about nuclear generationwas done several years ago when NPPD was assessing the value of its nuclearpower plant, Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville.
Thecomplete study can be found at the Bureau's website at www.bbr.unl.edu.