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West Virginia News

More Utica land for sale


Another company operating in the Utica Shale formation has decided to put its land on the market. Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. announced on Tuesday that it will be selling 5,210 acres of undeveloped land located in Tyler County, West Virginia.  The company’s CEO Gary Evans explained that the acreage is not in the company’s long-term drilling plans and that several ...

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More coal layoffs announced at Murray, Alpha

job cuts

Hundreds more West Virginia miners were told Friday that they were being laid off, in the latest blow to the already deeply troubled Appalachian coal industry. Alpha Natural Resources issued a statement announcing the “expected idling” of subsidiary Rockspring Development’s Camp Creek underground mine and processing plant in Wayne County and had given layoff notices to 439 employees at that ...

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Charleston Daily Mail, W.Va., Jared Hunt column


About a month ago, I wrote a column about the possibility that state gasoline prices might have peaked for the year. My apologies to West Virginia drivers: I hope I didn’t jinx it for you. At the time, state gas prices were averaging about $2.40 for a gallon of regular unleaded, having hit a peak of $2.47 around March 7. ...

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Attorney General: Localities can ban fracking

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring declared Friday that counties have the authority to prohibit fracking–which is exactly opposite of what the same office ruled two years ago. Herring said he believes the General Assembly and the Code of Virginia “permit localities to prohibit fracking operations through duly enacted land use or zoning ordinances.” Herring issued the formal opinion Friday afternoon. ...

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With bomb trains on the horizon, pipeline legislation hopes to save America

Three members of congress from energy producing or oil refining states have come together in a bipartisan effort to promote the Oil and Gas Production and Distribution Reform Act. The pending legislation is hailed as a great importance to energy infrastructure by its supporters and key to America becoming the new energy super power. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Heidi ...

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State IDs faulty tanks; now tank law is being scaled back

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After a 2014 chemical spill polluted drinking water for more than 300,000 people in West Virginia, lawmakers there quickly mandated tighter surveillance of the state’s chemical storage tanks. It revealed dozens of tanks that shouldn’t have been in service still posed a potential threat to drinking water for more than 134,000 people downstream. Many were corroded and ...

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Editorial: Natural gas severance won’t be there forever


Thanks to increases in natural gas production, several counties and municipalities in West Virginia received hundreds of thousands of dollars — sometimes more than $1 million — in severance tax receipts for 2014. According to the Department of Revenue, natural gas severance tax receipts doubled last year to more than $188.3 million. Of that money, 90 percent went to the ...

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Ethane cracker plant has been put on pause

pause button

In a joint statement, Braskem and joint venture partner Odebrecht have announced that plans for an ethane cracker plant in West Virginia have been put on hold for the time being. The joint venture had plans to construct the Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (ASCENT) along the Ohio River in Parkersburg, West Virginia, but has now decided to take a step ...

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Editorial: Whose property is it?


On the final day of its regular legislative session last month, the House of Delegates in gas-rich West Virginia defeated a controversial bill on a 49-49 vote. It would have allowed “forced pooling,” a maneuver that lets operators drill under the property of unwilling landowners. “Forced pooling means without consent. They don’t want to do it,” Democratic Delegate Isaac Sponagle ...

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