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West Virginia legislature discusses oil, natural gas issues

From staff reports

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia and members of the Legislature discussed issues important to the oil and natural gas industry in a meeting at the Capitol.

Executive Director Charlie Burd cited the importance of oil and natural gas to West Virginia’s economy and the association’s commitment to supporting local communities.

Association President Scott Freshwater also said the industry and Legislature must work together to offer ideas and provide effective solutions to bolster the industry and state.

“The oil and natural gas industry is different than it was just a few short years ago,” Freshwater said. “It’s more complex and continues to change on an almost constant basis. I’m confident the industry and legislature can work together to help this industry not only survive, but thrive in West Virginia.”

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, House Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson and House Judiciary Vice Chairman Roger Hanshaw attended and also spoke. Carmichael said West Virginia’s natural resources is important to the economy and the Legislature must work to revitalize the energy sector.

Downstream development and infrastructure also are key components to the industry’s success and are critical for job development, Nelson said.

Hanshaw emphasized the importance of environmental protection while decreasing burdensome regulation on producers with tanks posing no hazards to the water supply. He also stressed the importance of leaders working to educate the public about the industry.

“We could not have asked for better representation than we had here today,”Burd said. “I am optimistic we can accomplish our goals and get many issues addressed in the session this year. We are focused on reviving and improving this industry and our state as a whole.”

The association held its Winter Meeting this week in Charleston.

It presented its annual Oil and Gas Reclamation Awards and held a membership and legislative reception, too.

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