West Virginia Natural Gas, Oil Coming to the Rescue , Sports, Jobs – The Intelligencer

This year has presented many challenges including a war in Europe that’s uprooted the global energy market and left many feeling the impact of higher energy prices triggered by this massive supply and demand imbalance. While this event is occurring thousands of miles away, its impacts are being felt deeply by the people who live and work right here in West Virginia.

Concerns with record-high inflation, energy costs, energy reliability and climate change are all top of mind for a majority of West Virginians, according to GO-WV’s recent statewide survey results. Thankfully for us, these glaring concerns — while all important — have one theme in common: they’re easily overcome by producing and using the resources found beneath our feet.

Just as natural gas’ increased use in the U.S. power sector dramatically reduced electricity-related emissions, that same progress can be felt right here in West Virginia by building more natural gas power plants. Natural gas-fired power plants today set the standard for the future of power generation by being cleaner, more durable and more efficient. Thinking long-term, these facilities are compatible with hydrogen blending and carbon capture, which further enhances the region’s economic and environmental goals.

Knowing this, it is incredible to see that a $3 billion, 1,800-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant will be built in Doddridge Country. This one plant will provide over 1,000 union construction jobs, hundreds of full-time jobs once operational, will reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, and be state of the art, using carbon capture to further reduce emissions in West Virginia while supporting our economy — a win-win for the Mountain State.

The same goes for keeping energy costs low for American consumers. Unlocking West Virginia’s natural gas and oil automatically puts downward pressure on prices while shoring up supply to maintain around-the-clock power. Knowing this, it’s no wonder 81% of West Virginians voiced their support for natural gas and oil drilling in the state and nearly 8 in 10 support policies that increase domestic drilling and the completion of pipeline projects to ease inflationary burdens, GO-WV polling shows.

“We need energy innovation — not elimination — to meet the baseload energy demands of our nation and our friends and allies across the world,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has repeated. Without a doubt, Sen. Manchin’s constituents agree we need to invest more in the technologies that help produce energy in the cleanest and safest way possible.

While some cities and states have made it their mission to ban natural gas hookups for new homes and buildings, West Virginians believe that innovation and tapping the resources found right here are the true sustainable energy solutions. In fact, seven in 10 West Virginians voiced support for using innovation over bans on the development and use of natural gas to drive further emission reduction.

As we emerge from a global pandemic and grapple with the latest geopolitical events, it is no surprise our state is facing the country’s most pressing issues, including inflation, energy affordability, reliability, and cleaner air. West Virginians, like many others, understand the importance of supporting more natural gas and oil development because while other nations may also produce these essential energy resources, nowhere comes close to producing it as cleanly and efficiently as we do here at home.

Looking to the future, GO-WV is proud to represent solutions-focused businesses– both large and small — in our quest to invest and deliver more to the Mountain State’s economy, communities, and environment.

Charlie Burd is Executive Director of the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia.

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