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It might sound a bit strange, but I think it’s time for us to stick up for the state’s oil and natural gas industry. Strange, because this industry’ impact in our state is so big — we take it for granted and tend to allow criticism to slide.

It was extremely discouraging to read a recent report — and subsequent media coverage — suggesting the oil and natural gas industry has been a “bust.”

Let’s look at it from the auto industry perspective. When it comes to drilling, production and distribution, we have about 23,000 fleet vehicles operating throughout West Virginia. Combine that with the vehicles employees own, and that number greatly exceeds 100,000.

We’re talking vehicle purchases, repairs, cleaning and general maintenance, and that equates to more than $725 million in revenue every year.

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You can’t deny such a positive impact. And, again, we’re just talking about one facet of the total energy economy.

The natural gas industry supports families. It delivers energy to the state and region and without its byproducts that help make thousands of products we use every day — we aren’t selling vehicles.

I am thankful this industry provides so much to all of us.

Jeff Gould


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