May 06, 2012
The part of West Virginia I grew up and live in isn't exactly the most interesting part of the state. But sometimes not interesting is good. Things have been interesting with coal in southern WV for a century or so. Not in a good way. And things are getting really interesting in the Marcellus Shale parts of the state that are getting drilled now. Likewise, not in a good way.
I happen to be from a place that is north of the southern coalfields but south of the northern gas fields, for the moment anyway. Which is just fine with me.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, there's lots of frack traffic in the news these days. Last week, the Obama administration called for stronger regulations and more disclosure of shale gas drilling. Here's a look at the economics of the industry. And here's news about a report that suggests that water table contamination from shale gas drilling is a real danger.
I hate to say this--and I really hope I'm wrong about it--but sometimes I think that in the end the gas industry will do more harm to this state than its illustrious carbon predecessor.
BUT TO STAY ON MESSAGE, let me say again that WV would be nuts not to create a Future Fund from natural gas severance tax revenues so that our economic future will be better than the past.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED