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Editorial: WV is gassed up and ready to go

If you talk to those in the natural gas industry, they will tell you that West Virginia sits at the epicenter of what could potentially be the economic development future of the Mountain State — if not the nation.

The Marcellus and Utica natural gas fields are deep, rich and plentiful. And with planned pipelines and talk of a storage and trading hub, the industry is on the tip of a major boom.

But it’s not there yet, according to industry leaders. Natural gas is still selling at around $2 per MCF. That’s not very profitable for companies that are spending millions, if not billions, of dollars trying to extract it from the ground.

That’s why natural gas producers and industry groups like IOGA West Virginia and West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association are touting legislation that will help natural gas companies continue development efforts.

Some of the proposed laws, like co-tenancy, help not only the producers but landowners. This bill would allow companies to proceed with drilling plans if 75 percent of more of mineral rights owners are in agreement. …

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