West Virginia University hosted a public hearing Monday night on regulating the Marcellus Shale industry.
It was the second of three public meetings held by the Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale.
It was full house as members of the public had a chance to speak directly to lawmakers about how best to regulate the industry.
Members of the natural gas industry, scientists, and environmental experts were on hand.
The debate, which began after the Charleston, W.Va.–based Northeast Natural Energy invested millions of dollars in a proposal to drill Marcellus Shale wells in the Morgantown Industrial Park escalated after the Morgantown City Council’s passage of a moratorium on drilling. (Source.)
The discussions have made the general public wary of the dangers posed by this practice against those who insist the economic benefits this form of natural gas drilling can produce are too great to pass on.
West Virginia is sitting on a buried treasure called the Marcellus Shale formation. This resource holds, at its core, more than 489 trillion cubic feet of clean-burning natural gas.
If fully developed, the Marcellus Shale could become the second largest natural gas field in the world only behind fields in Qatar and Iran.
Access to the natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation would boost West Virginia’s economy and improve America’s energy security by providing access to a critical domestic energy source.
BENEFITS OF THE MARCELLUS SHALE
The Marcellus Shale is already having a positive impact on West Virginia’s economy. According to a West Virginia University study, the oil and natural gas industry already supports 35,000 jobs in West Virginia, and over 7,000 new jobs can be created through Marcellus Shale development.
As development continues, so do the benefits for the region and across the nation:
- Development could mean $24 billion in total economic value to the region, which would positively impact all sectors of the economy including the service, construction, manufacturing, health care, and education industries.
- According to Mark Muchow, WV Deputy Secretary of Revenue, state severance taxes could rise from $50 million in 2010 to $118 million by 2016 – an annual growth rate of 17.6 percent.
- Increased energy security for America by development of domestic energy resources to meet America’s growing energy demand.
Harry Bertram noted the benefits of Shale drilling stating, “This could be a win-win situation for West Virginia and the gas industry.”
Vote Candidate Harry Bertram – For Governor of West Virginia