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Charleston, W.Va. (August 17, 2017) – The West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) applauds West Virginia’s legislative leaders, Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Tim Armstead, for their foresight in elevating natural gas issues through the formation of the new interim Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development.  .  

“President Carmichael and Speaker Armstead have demonstrated they understand the important role natural gas development has and will continue to play in West Virginia’s economy,” said Anne Blankenship, executive director of WVONGA. 

 The work of the committee aims to allow the Legislature to learn more about industry best practices, opportunities for economic expansion created by shale gas production, and challenges that West Virginia faces when competing for investment capital within the Appalachian Basin and other prolific oil and gas plays across the country.

“We look forward to working with committee members during the interim sessions to explain how our state can further advance natural gas industry job creation and investment through modernized mineral efficiency laws, legislation and public support for pipeline projects and tax policies that do not discourage investment,” said Blankenship. “New co-tenancy rules, for instance, would allow the majority of the owners of a mineral property to determine whether or not those minerals can be developed. It’s time to stop letting the minority hold back the will of the majority.”

Blankenship listed other potential items for the committee to explore, including more opportunities for downstream development in the petrochemical sector and expanding our infrastructure. With multiple interstate natural gas pipeline projects awaiting approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, West Virginia could realize more than $5 billion in pipeline construction investment in the state over the next several years. 

The West Virginia Legislature meets in interim sessions each month before the regular session begins in January.

For additional information, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609. 

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