"Other sectors of the economy are going to have to step up," he said of the decline in the state's energy tax collections.
Muchow said he anticipates growth in the wood products industries in the state, as the housing market begins to rebound nationally.
"Basically, the housing industry has no place to go but up," he said.
He also said market forces are driving development of natural-gas-powered vehicles, which eventually will increase demand for natural gas.
Muchow said West Virginia could be a leader in that area, with what is probably the most generous tax credit for natural-gas vehicles in the country.
Passed in 2011, it provides a tax credit of 35 percent of the purchase price or 50 percent of conversion costs, up to $7,500, for natural gas-powered passenger vehicles.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.