Preparing for a Rise in West Virginia Gas Drilling

West Virginia Public News Service - If the natural gas market follows classic patterns, drilling in the Marcellus shale will rise once the price climbs from the basement. Read

What should West Virginia do to prepare?

Sean O'Leary, a senior policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, says the state should gear up for more drilling activity by bumping up the severance tax to save for the future.

Industry officials argue that would discourage drilling, but O'Leary maintains more tax dollars can be put into the state's future fund without hurting the industry.

"Right now we have the future fund on paper, but we're not putting any revenue in it," he states. "They're continuing to drill even at low prices – a small increase in the severance tax is not going to have a major impact on the industry."


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