Hoppy's Commentary | January 03, 2017 at 12:18AM
West Virginia is sitting on top of nearly unimaginable amounts of natural gas. The Energy Information Administration estimates the state’s shale gas reserves exceed 28 trillion cubic feet. Yet, we have not yet been able to take full advantage of this energy windfall.
One reason is huge gas reserves are being discovered elsewhere, and hydraulic fracturing means those reserves that were once unreachable can now be tapped. The oversupply drives down prices and serves as a disincentive for drillers.
Another reason is that our infrastructure has not caught up with the enormous supplies, which is why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is so critical.
The proposed pipeline, which would run 600 miles from Harrison County southeast through the state, across Virginia and into North Carolina, will supply natural gas to utilities for power generation. The project by Dominion Transportation Inc. would provide a significant new market for West Virginia natural gas.
Naturally, there are concerns about the pipeline–some property owners don’t want the pipeline on or near their land—but much of the opposition is from the environmental community which objects to fracking and carbon fuels.
Environmentalists have raised myriad concerns about the potential impact on groundwater, forests, recreational areas, historic sites, and sensitive species, to name a few. They also argue there is no economic benefit to impacted communities.