A small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas. That is how Free Dictionary defines banana republic. West Virginia doesn’t have any bananas, but we come close to that definition.
For decades we exported coal and timber, but we also had a booming chemical industry and a glass industry. With coal on the decline, our glass and steel industry almost gone and many of our chemical plants closed, natural gas may be our next big export item. But do we want natural gas to become West Virginia’s bananas?