West Virginia Needs to Keep Up with Ohio, Pennsylvania Gas Industries

By Pritt, James | Sunday Gazette-Mail, November 5, 2017 | Go to article overview

West Virginia Needs to Keep Up with Ohio, Pennsylvania Gas Industries


Pritt, James, Sunday Gazette-Mail


West Virginia is a beautiful state, and for all of us that chose to live and work here, we would agree that West Virginia is a wonderful place to raise a family. However, the next generation of West Virginians we are raising may not agree.

West Virginia is facing an outward migration of talent. Our best and brightest are leaving our state for more lucrative careers and opportunities elsewhere. Our leaders need to take aggressive action now to reverse this outward migration.

The only way to reverse this trend is to provide well-paying, rewarding careers to the next generation of West Virginians. What is the best opportunity West Virginia has to provide these careers to our young people?

The answer is plain and simple. It is the oil and natural gas industry. West Virginia is home to the largest shale gas formation in the world, and we have the potential to become the nation's leader in oil and natural gas production.

The oil and natural gas industry represents the hope West Virginians need to pull our state out of 50th place. Oil and natural gas represents the future of our great state.

Our industry can be the catalyst for other industries, development and careers for current and future generations. It is critical that our leadership recognize this opportunity, put aside their differences and work together to make the most of this incredibly marketable commodity.

Why? The answer again is plain and simple. We need to use our natural resources, which are readily available, to be competitive with our bordering states and keep our best and brightest home.

West Virginia has fallen behind our largest competitors, Ohio and Pennsylvania, because of the limitations we face through regulations, taxes and production costs. Production in Ohio grew by 1.2 billion cubic feet per day last year, while West Virginia's yield grew by 100 million cubic feet per day.

Rig counts are used as a measure of productive activity within the oil and gas industry, and West Virginia currently has 14 drilling rigs working, whereas Pennsylvania has 32 and Ohio has 29. …

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