By Bob Weaver

A report from the Appalachian Regional Commission shows that Calhoun and 14 other counties are considered economically distressed (at the bottom), while most of the rest are among the poorer counties in the USA, in the middle of President Trump's "beautiful coal" boom.

Fascinatingly, Wetzel County in the center of the Marcellus Boom, is now one of the state's most distressed.

Calhoun is among 100 US counties with lowest per capita income, among others in WV.

Over a century in the Mountain State, mostly under Democrats, now under Trump Republicans, has clung to relying on coal, gas, oil and extractables to drive the economy.

They are still declaring it is a wave of the future, while dicing environmental regulations protecting WV water and air.

The state has long been held hostage to out-of-state corporations.

While the report says many of the state's in the ARC are rebounding, West Virginia is still far behind.

In the past year, there's been a drop in the number of counties across the Appalachian region that are considered economically distressed.

These statistics are based on unemployment numbers and low-income levels. In West Virginia, 15 counties are considered economically distressed—that's an increase from last year, as Summers, Fayette, and Wetzel counties have been added to the list.

Reporter Roxy Todd reports that 21 counties in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee experienced a positive shift in their economic status.

A review of data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration shows 1,001 more U.S. coal jobs last year compared with 2016, although energy analysts say the reasons are short term and have nothing to do with White House policies.

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