The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

A letter to a billionaire sparked a W.Va. economic windfall


Driving back home from a West Virginia University research and technology department session, Sen. Glenn Jeffries, D-Putnam, was inspired to write a longshot “come to West Virginia'' letter to nine global billionaire investors, including Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett.

“It started out with - since pick-axes first struck coal in 1810 in Wheeling - energy has always been the lifeblood of Appalachia. Fifty-three years later, born out of the strife and blood of the Civil War, West Virginia was created,” Jeffries said. “Our state's fortunes and challenges have always been directly linked to those energies, namely coal. We now have some technology that has to do with rare earth minerals. I asked him to come to West Virginia, come and see our mountains, it's a beautiful place.”

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