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  1. State’s Four Legislative Leaders Join Coalition to Bring Hydrogen Hub to West Virginia

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    MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s four legislative leaders joined the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition on Thursday, adding their voices to those working to bring a hub to West Virginia.

    The U.S. Department of Energy aims to establish four regional hydrogen hubs using Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act money, and one of them will be in Appalachia, the nation’s largest natural gas-producing region. The West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition submitted its official response to DOE’s first step in the process to select winning hydrogen hubs on March 21.

    President Craig Blair (legislator photos submitted)

    On Thursday, Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley jointly announced that Senate President Craig Blair, Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Minority Leader Doug Skaff joined the coalition.

    Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “We are thrilled to have the West Virginia legislative leadership join us in our efforts. With our abundant energy sources and strong partnerships, our state is uniquely situated to compete to develop a hydrogen hub. Our proposal showcases how West Virginia can continue to lead the country — and the world — in advancing energy technologies and bring good-paying jobs to the state.”

    Capito said, “West Virginia’s leaders — Democrat and Republican — are united around the potential we know is ready to be unleashed right here in our state when it comes to investing in and developing a hydrogen hub.”

    She told The Dominion Post on Thursday that DOE will likely have news on the selection process this summer. A presentation from Manchin’s office says hub selection is due in May 2023.

    Capito told The Dominion Post, “The best way to handle what we see in terms of the climate and the climate changing is to innovate and research. … A hydrogen hub would be one of those innovative avenues to a cleaner, greener and more powerful future.”

    Speaker Roger Hanshaw

    McKinley said in the announcement, “The Infrastructure Bill has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize infrastructure that will support a regional hydrogen hub. Which means West Virginia, one of the country’s largest coal, gas and oil producers, can lead an all-of-the-above energy strategy that leverages the state’s existing resources while developing next generation technologies that support good jobs and energy security for the U.S. into the future.”

    The other two members of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, Republicans Alex Mooney and Carol Miller, voted against the infrastructure bill and did not participate in the announcement.

    The four legislative leaders also issued comments.

    Hanshaw said, “We are creating a new economy here in West Virginia, and we stand ready to do what we can to be sure the state is attractive to this project, as well as many others.”

    Leader Doug Skaff

    Skaff said, “West Virginia has a long history of powering this country and bringing a hydrogen hub to the Mountain State will allow our hard-working families to be a part of powering our great nation far into the future.”

    Blair commented, “As we look to expand our strategy and portfolio into the next generation, I look forward to us being leaders in energy technology.”

    And Baldwin said, “For the sake of our future, we need to be a more diverse and cleaner energy state. Expanding the hydrogen market here would allow us to create jobs, produce energy for our own citizens to use, and build a more-sustainable economy.”

    Blue hydrogen is produced by steam methane reforming, which requires burning natural gas to reform methane into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, from which they capture and sequester the CO2. A possible alternate, cleaner way to produce blue hydrogen is microwaves; it can produce hydrogen faster with less energy.

    Grey and brown hydrogen also use steam to produce the gas, but don’t sequester it. Green hydrogen produces the gas from water.

    A hub, according to the presentation by Manchin’s office, is a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential consumer and connective infrastructure. At least one hub will produce hydrogen from fossil fuels, one from renewables and one from nuclear energy (pink hydrogen).

    At least one hub will demonstrate clean hydrogen use for electric generation, one for industrial applications, one for residential and commercial heating and one for transportation.

    The infrastructure act included $9.5 billion for hydrogen, including $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will jump-start the production, transport, and use of clean hydrogen across the U.S. economy; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.

    On Feb. 15, Manchin, Capito, McKinley and Gov. Jim Justice announced the launch of the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition. On Feb. 25, they convened the initial organizing meeting. GO-WV, the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia, is also a member.


    Original Article by David Beard on, April 28, 2022

    Original Article Here

  2. Natural Gas Is the Future of Energy

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    Without stepping foot in the Mountain State, getting to know our people or way of life, politicians in Washington, D.C., and from other states are advancing energy and environmental policies that would be punishing to West Virginia’s businesses, communities, way of life and citizens. 

    While we’ve long been a leading producer of the world’s energy, West Virginia’s natural gas and oil sector of today is modern and efficient, with digital innovation and technological breakthroughs transforming a sector vital to our state’s livelihood.

    The energy we produce here powers lives across the world — and, with natural gas demand set to rise globally almost 25% by 2050, we’re doing it more cleanly, efficiently and responsibly than anywhere else on the planet.

    From Williamson to Charleston, Parkersburg and Weirton, natural gas and oil are the life blood of West Virginia’s economy, contributing $11.2 billion to our state’s annual economic output, according to a recent report.

    The 82,000 union and nonunion jobs we support across our economy means diners filled inWest Union, new development in Bridgeport and opportunities for high school, technical school and college graduates to find a good-paying career here at home.

    Today’s natural gas and oil sector is ahead of the curve, advancing technologies that move the entire industry forward. From pad drilling and underground horizontal laterals, which greatly reduce the amount of surface development, to recycling and water-reuse practices that limit fresh-water withdraws, and recognizing value in older wells through care and attention and responsible plugging, we’re seeing the future of natural gas and oil development right here inWest Virginia.

    Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and our entire congressional delegation understand the critical importance of natural gas to meeting the dual challenge of a cleaner and economically prosperous world. Yet, far too many in Washington don’t realize the devastating consequences of unrealistic energy and environmental policies.

    In Pleasants County, thanks to readily available natural gas, we are seeing manufacturing on the rise, as the $350 million West Virginia Methanol facility will take natural gas and convert it into a critical input for all sorts of everyday goods, such as carpeting, clothing, and medical masks and gloves, to name a few.

    And the proposed Longview Power natural gas plant in Monongalia County is a great example of using the natural gas right beneath our feet to power nearby homes and businesses. In addition to contributing reliable energy to the electrical grid, the construction of the plant will create 5,000 jobs during construction, generating more than $360 million in total compensation.

    We are proud to produce energy that powers our state, nation and the world. Rather than talking past each other on cable news, politicians might consider spending more time in thec ommunities affected by their decisions.

    Come to West Virginia and see the future of American energy at work.


    Original Article by Charlie Burd Executive Director, GO-WV, March 7th 2022, on

    Original Article Here

  3. West Virginia Is Blessed With Abundant Energy

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    As 2021 finishes out, West Virginians have experienced many blessings — from a rebounding economy with more job opportunities to a stronger, more fiscally sound state.We’re moving forward, together. 

    We’ve even seen the benefits — and drawbacks — of being in the national political spotlight thanks to the steadfast leadership from Sens. Manchin and Capito, and our congressional delegation. Amid the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., our leaders haven’t forgotten their roots, the people who helped get them into office, and the energy sector that’s bedrock to our state and nation’s well-being. 

    Whether it’s heating homes, schools, and small businesses, spurring manufacturing growth, advancing environmental goals, or creating opportunities for local high school, trade, and college grads, our world is brighter because of West Virginia natural gas. 

    Make no mistake, the fundamentals of our industry remain strong. We’ve seen year-over-year increases in natural gas production that have made West Virginia the country’s fifth largest energy producer. And additional pipeline expansion in 2022 will open new markets for our resource. 

    The highest paying sector in West Virginia, natural gas development, supports the careers of more than 82,000 West Virginians, from Weirton to Bluefield and everywhere in between. 

    The natural gas we produce in the Mountain State is our economic engine and climate plan — and expanding domestic and international natural gas use will further drive production growth, investment, job creation across West Virginia, and reduce our overall global carbon footprint. It’s not rocket science — it’s Economics 101. 

    More U.S. natural gas production is an all-around win-win. As we headed into the winter season, Americans cranked up the heat, and it’s natural gas that kept us warm. Approximately 40% of West Virginia’s homes rely on natural gas for heating, as do about half of all American households. 

    While energy prices have risen lately due to numerous factors, including poor political and regulatory decisions, thanks to greater U.S. production, Americans continue to enjoy significant energy savings at home and at the gas pump. Since 2008, households, businesses and manufacturers have saved $1.1 trillion due to increased production across the country, including in Appalachia. 

    All West Virginians enjoy the energy savings this industry creates — and when our industry does better, so does our state’s overall fiscal health. 

    Revenues generated by taxes on natural gas and oil have contributed more than $3 billion to the state budget since 2008 — including hundreds of millions of dollars annually in severance and local property tax revenues, both of which directly support individual counties. 

    Municipalities rely on this vital revenue stream to carry out the basic functions of local government — like maintaining roads, improving bridges and parks. 

    These blessings are just a few of the positive impacts the oil and natural gas industry have had on our state, much of which we have a duty to share with our nation and allies across the globe. 

    As the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, our supply far outpaces domestic demand, giving us the opportunity to share these clean energy resources with the rest of the world. In 2022, the U.S. is projected to be the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter — snagging the top spot from Russia and the Middle East. Our position as the world’s trusted, reliable energy supplier enhances our national security, and is good for our climate and our economy here at home. 

    While many obstacles remain heading into the new year, the past two years have forced our industry to adapt and be resilient, priming us for immense growth as we continue to expand and deliver more for American and global consumers. 

    We have much to be excited about as 2022 approaches and we’re grateful each and every day for the talent, grit and determination of our industry in delivering the energy that’s fueling our future. 


    Original Article by Charlie Burd, March 7, 2022 on

    Original Article Here

  4. Pipeline Infrastructure Unlocks W.Va.’s Energy Potential

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    West Virginia is an energy powerhouse, and it’s no secret the work we do here keeps the lights on across our country and throughout the world. In fact, natural gas production has grown 770% over the past decade — thanks to the advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies — edging the Mountain State up to be the nation’s fifth-largest energy producer. 

    But without modern pipeline infrastructure, there’s no way to move energy from where it’s produced to where it’s needed.

    Natural gas and oil development is an economic and environmental winner for the entire region. Families and communities rely on the good-paying jobs, investments in manufacturing, and small business support that energy production generates.

    In 2019, West Virginia’s natural gas and oil industry supported more than 82,000 well-paying jobs, contributing over $11.2 billion to our economy.

    And thanks to the homegrown energy produced in our backyards, West Virginians save billions in household energy costs – $4.3 billion in 10 years (2006-2016), to be exact, according to theConsumer Energy Alliance. For commercial and industrial natural gas users, those savings amount to $2.7 billion.

    In order to build on that success, we must commit to expanding and building new pipelines, transmission systems, and processing facilities to deliver more affordable, reliable energy.

    Pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport natural gas, and they’re overwhelmingly safely built by skilled building trades men and women. But politics, government red tape and “Keep it in the Ground” extreme activism aimed at ceasing the development of all fossil fuels have stopped, blocked, or delayed critical pipeline projects that would improve access to affordable, abundant energy.

    Locally, the Mountain Valley Pipeline is facing some of the same hurdles that led to the cancellation of other pipelines, like the PennEast Pipeline a few weeks ago and the AtlanticCoast Pipeline last summer.

    Mountain Valley, expected to go into service next year, spans more than 300 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia, with a proposed extension to increase service to fast-growing North Carolina communities.

    Pipelines to move gas to the Southeast, New England and Midwest markets are critical to fueling economic growth while helping states reach their climate goals. Just in North Carolina, natural gas use for electricity generation grew 13-fold from 2005-2018, and one in every four homes depends on natural gas for heating.

    But regulatory delays and pipeline blockades threaten the success of MVP and risk burdening consumers as they have in New England, where anti-domestic energy policies force consumers to rely upon imports to meet demand — despite being within a stone’s throw of the Marcellus and Utica shales.

    To continue driving economic growth, keep the lights on and achieve clean air progress in WestVirginia, we need a business-friendly environment that attracts pipeline infrastructure development and related downstream investments such as manufacturing.

    We must prioritize making improvements in our country’s pipeline infrastructure network for the sake of all West Virginians, our nation’s energy security, and our world’s environmental well-being.


    Original Article by Charlie Burd Executive Director, GO-WW March 7th, 2022 on

    Original Article Here

  5. DOE Report shows potential for petrochemical Hub in Appalachia

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    A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy further validated the benefits of and need for the Appalachian Storage and Trade Hub.

    The subsequent DOE report from this study sent to members of Congress, titled “Ethane Storage and Distribution Hub in the United States,” shed light on the advancing natural gas industries in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions covering West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania during the past decade due to innovations like hydraulic fracturing. The report stated that the region, in view of it also being home to the undeveloped Rogersville, effectively make it an energy super power.

    “Continued technological advancements and improvements in industry practices are expected to lower costs and to increase the volume of oil and natural gas recovery per well,” the report read. “The Appalachian Basin’s shale resource endowment is so bountiful that, were it an independent country, the region would be the world’s third largest producer of natural gas today.”

    While the U.S. Gulf Coast has been the nation’s historic hub of natural gas storage and activity, data from the report projects that Appalachian and East Coast states will produce more than 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by the year 2050, which is more than the combined total tons of the Gulf Coast and the rest of the country.

    “I’m not surprised at all, to be honest,” Appalachian Development Group President and CEO Steve Hedrick said regarding the DOE’s study. “I think it certainly validates the strategic importance of the Appalachian trading hub and what we have talked about as to the positive impacts it can have to our nation and certainly our allies around the world.”

    In addition to providing as many as 100,000 jobs and tax revenue in downstream development projects, Hedrick added that such a storage hub would better enable the United States to supply the world with reliable energy, natural gas liquids and other products.

    The hub itself took a crucial step toward reality in September when the Appalachian Development Group selected California-based Parsons Corp. as its engineering, procurement and construction partner. Since then, Hedrick said, potential sites have been narrowed down and negotiations with landowners are underway. The task now is to secure capital funding and conduct geological testing to ensure the sites in question are the right fit.

    James Wood, interim director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute, said the visit to Appalachia by U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in 2017 was what helped kickstart efforts to make the storage hub a reality

    “What was new to him, I think, was that this hub is likely to be built in rock and not in salt domes,” Wood explained. “He’s also pretty knowledgeable of the vulnerability of the (Mont Belvieu) hub down in Texas to periodic storm events and he knows that a hub up here is closer to markets.”

    Wood also noted that a storage hub in Appalachia would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions because fewer pipelines and compression stations would be needed to move product to market. Under the status quo, gas collected in West Virginia must be transported to the Gulf Coast before it’s refined and shipped north again where most of the market is.

    He said that while the Appalachian Development Group and Parsons Corporation are moving forward with developing the hub itself, WVU hosts several initiatives aimed at improving the natural gas industry. Research by the Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization to produce baking soda out of carbon dioxide, a byproduct of coal power plants and natural gas well operations, is one such example. Various technologies and software systems are also being tested at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Lab at the Morgantown Industrial Park by university researchers in partnership with private companies.

    “This report affirms what we have been talking about for years,” Congressman David McKinley, R-W.Va., said. “Natural gas production in the region has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. West Virginia and surrounding states are poised to become a leader in petrochemicals and manufacturing, but we need to build the necessary infrastructure to make it work.”

    The DOE study also concluded that building an Appalachian shale storage hub is not necessarily in conflict with Gulf Coast expansion. This is because Appalachian capacity may serve regional demand for natural gas liquid derivatives, freeing up Gulf Coast production for other markets including exports overseas.

    The report also favored the Appalachian region itself since nearly one-third of U.S. activity in the petrochemical ecosystem occurs within 300 miles of Pittsburgh, with over $300 billion of net revenue, 900,000 workers, and 7,500 establishments.

    “As we watch hurricanes threaten Gulf Coast production, the Shale Crescent region offers a more insulated, affordable alternative to supplement production,” said Shale Crescent USA Co-founder Jerry James. “We continue to work closely with industry leaders to capitalize on the advantages the Shale Crescent region has to offer, and we are thrilled that the DOE is dedicating efforts to underscore these advantages and support our endeavor to bring more petrochemical investment to the region.”


  6. Happy 2018! Another Year Is In The Record Books

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    We hope you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season. The new year is a time to reflect and project. This monthly Black Diamond Realty newsletter reflects on 2017 while providing our projections pertaining to north central West Virginia’s economic activity in 2018.

    It was a record breaking year for Black Diamond and many other companies in north central WV. While north central WV remains consistently vibrant, the tides are slowly turning for the state as a whole, and WV’s entire economic fleet appears to be heading toward brighter days. Several critical sectors led the charge with positive economic announcements in 2017.

    Energy was the cream that rose to the top. Several large pipeline projects are at various stages of construction with the finish line inching closer. Pipelines open up regional, metropolitan markets to WV’s gas production. A cracker plant is under construction in Beaver County, PA with rumors of potentially two additional crackers being built in OH and WV (Parkersburg area). Crackers dissect elements of natural gas into various chemicals which should result in a manufacturing expansion for companies who want to be near critical elements of their production process. Pipelines and crackers are creating a newfound buzz for the energy sector. Black Diamond can testify to the energy sector’s expansion in 2017: Industrial sector leads paced other sectors with a total of 133 unique leads. Black Diamond closed 13 deals with energy related entities.

    The buzz does not stop at our state or even national borders. China Energy Investment Corp signed a memorandum of understanding with WV leadership to invest $83.7 billion over 20 years in various energy related ventures.  Power plants are one potential investment angle. Two gas fired power plants are at varying phases of approval to be constructed in the region. One is in Harrison County. Click here to learn more:  Oil and gas activity is energizing our regional economy by bringing high paying jobs to our market. The money from these jobs is spent on housing (hotels, apartments), food (grocery stores, restaurants) and entertainment.

    Infrastructure has been a hot topic in West Virginia for many decades. Band-aids have been our state’s application of choice. However, 2017 brought a different style of leadership aimed at changing WV’s story. Governor Justice and his team formulated a plan to use future promised tax dollars to secure ~$3 billion worth of funds to complete road infrastructure improvement projects. Our roads have already benefitted from the Roads to Prosperity Amendment and should improve further over the next decade. Infrastructure is a critical variable for many sectors considering economic expansion.

    Since accepting his role as WVU’s 24th President, Dr. E. Gordon Gee has been focused on expanding the university’s outreach while maintaining its mission of supporting prosperity for the mountain state. WVU Medicine has been aggressively expanding with 2017 announcements that include a $150 million, 10-story children’s and women’s tower on WVU Medicine’s main campus, a $12 million inpatient residential drug treatment facility near Mylan Park (Morgantown), plus it opened a $13.9 million, 25,000 square foot new outpatient facility in Fairmont, WV. Mon General Hospital is also in expansion mode. North central WV should welcome this “medical arms race” as it directly results in a higher quality of life via greater healthcare access, plus economic benefits, including high paying jobs.

    So, what do we have to look forward to in 2018? The energy sector will carry 2017’s momentum into the new year and we will begin to see the fruits of the road bond’s labor as construction projects start. with the additional expansion by WVU Medicine and two prominent interstate developments (White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport and West Ridge in Morgantown), north central WV will see significant growth with many positive announcements. As the aforementioned economic drivers come to fruition, other areas in the state are also poised for growth. Also, since businesses will have greater discretionary capital to put to work under Trump’s new tax plan, look for businesses to be more aggressive with expansion efforts and hiring practices.

    Best wishes for a joyous and prosperous 2018!