West Virginia Group Urges Higher Ethane Tax

Wheeling Intelligencer - A West Virginia think tank believes state leaders should increase severance tax rates for ethane and other natural gas liquids to discourage them from fueling out-of-state petrochemical projects, such as the proposed $5.7 billion PTT Global Chemical cracker in Belmont County. Read

However, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Executive Director Corky DeMarco believes such a concept may violate the portion of the U.S. Constitution commonly known as the Commerce Clause, which generally limits the authority of states to impose regulations on those from other states.

"West Virginia has a long history of relying on natural resource extraction to fuel our economy, but that reliance has recently resulted in the state shipping our most valuable resources out of the state to be developed," Sean O'Leary, fiscal policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, said. "As we have seen with the booms and busts of the coal industry, this leaves behind an economy lacking diversity and development with not enough good-paying jobs."

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