Pages tagged "Economic Development News"
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."
For Immediate Release
Contact Linda Frame
(Charleston, WV) The West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy (WVCBP) will hold the first-ever West Virginia Summer Policy Institute (SPI) at West Virginia Wesleyan College the weekend of July 29-31.
The 2016 SPI will give West Virginia college students a chance to learn about vital policy issues affecting all West Virginians, network with fellow students and statewide policy leaders, and prepare for a future in a policy-related field.
During their three-day stay on the Buckhannon, WV campus, participants will have the opportunity to sit in on numerous forums on topics including budget and taxes, legislative and policy process, West Virginia's health policy, policies on how to build West Virginia's middle class, and race and public policy. Panel discussions will be held on moving to an intervention and prevention model for better youth outcomes, health care in West Virginia, and careers in public policy and administration.
The first evening of the SPI, July 29, is open to the public with a panel and movie screening on improving the state's juvenile justice system.
6:30PM: Panel discussion - Moving to an Intervention and Prevention Model for Better Youth Outcomes. Panelists include Stephanie Bond with the Division of Juvenile Services; Eli Baumwell with the WV chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union; Kathy Szafran, President and CEO of Crittenton Services; Cindy Largent-Hill with the WV Supreme Court; Trudi Blaylock with PSI-Med; Jason Nicholas with the WV Public Defenders' office; and WV Department of Health and Human Resources (invited). The panel will be moderated by Circuit Court Judge Joanna Tabit. The panel will discuss how West Virginia can move more toward an intervention and prevention model instead of an institutional model when dealing with adverse youth experiences.
9:00PM: Screening of the film Paper Tigers, an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WV, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities, a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).
Both events are free of charge and will take place in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.
SPI attendees were chosen from a competitive application process that concluded in April. The event is targeted toward students currently enrolled in their junior/senior undergraduate programs and graduate degree programs at accredited public or private colleges and universities.
The State Journal - For nearly a decade, state officials and industry leaders have been touting the development of Marcellus Shale gas as an economic game-changer for the state of West Virginia. While the natural gas industry has undoubtedly provided isolated growth, it hasn't quite "changed the game" like it was expected to. Read
Talk of shale gas-related growth has been a common topic among West Virginia's economic leaders for years. And with Shell announcing its final investment decision June 7 to build a major petrochemicals complex just across the border in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, the chatter has grown even louder.
Shell anticipates the complex, which would feed off the ethane found in natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale region, could employ up to 600 people once it's completed, in addition to bringing up to 6,000 temporary construction jobs to the region while it's being built.
WCSM Radio - Ohio gets poor grades for its response to the boom in shale gas drilling, but a pair of new reports could help communities prepare for the future. Read
The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative - a partnership between Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia - has issued a report card on shale gas policies and a guide to help local governments facing gas drilling. Amanda Woodrum, a researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, said Ohio has much to learn from its neighboring states.
"Ohio can look to West Virginia for responsible tax policy needed to both ameliorate the boom-and-bust cycle as well as mitigate the negative impact from shale development," she said.
On the report card, Ohio received a D grade for its estimation of shale employment and an F for tracking the health effects of drilling. However, Woodrum noted that the state is ahead of the curve in mitigating road damage from trucks hauling shale materials.
Akron Beacon Journal - While drilling of new gas wells in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays has fallen recently, industry experts expect renewed activity over many years once prices rebound. To help drilling communities and the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia get the response to drilling right in the future, the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative (MSSRC) today released two documents: Lessons from the Gas Patch: A Local Government Guide for Dealing with Drilling; and A Report Card on Shale Gas Policies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, which grades three states on nine fiscal, social and economic policies related to fracking. Read
Charleston Gazette-Mail - Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited Charleston on Tuesday to raise money for Senate President Bill Cole's run for governor, boost Donald Trump's run for the presidency and to tout business-friendly policy proposals. Read
The two-time Republican presidential candidate told a room full of invited energy executives and lobbyists that states need to tackle taxes, regulations, legal policies and education policies to make themselves more attractive to businesses.
"If you don't remember anything I share with you this afternoon, I hope you'll remember this," Perry said. "Capital goes to where it is welcome."
Surrounded by leaders of the coal and gas industry in a state that gets 96 percent of its power from coal, Perry touted Texas' spot as the nation's top producer of wind energy.
Marketplace (National Public Radio) - West Virginia holds its primary Tuesday amid another war of words over coal mining. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has said, "We're going to put a lot of coal miners out of business." And Republican Donald Trump recently retorted, "We're going to put the miners back to work." Read
The reality of the market, however, suggests many West Virginia mining jobs — whoever is president — will never come back.
For West Virginia coal, cheap and efficient natural gas is leaving it behind as a fuel for generating electricity. Many analysts project natural gas could remain in the range of $5 per unit of energy longer term.
"Forget the clean power plan. You cannot build a coal plant that meets existing regulation today that can compete with $5 gas," Charles Patton, president of Charleston-based Appalachian Power, told a state energy conference recently. "It just cannot happen."
The Dominion Post - Severance tax trust funds are a good way for fracking states to turn a finite revenue source into long-term stability to ride out inevitable boom-bust cycles. That's the essence of a report issued this past week by the Brookings Institute, an esteemed nonpartisan D.C. think tank. Read
West Virginia has such a fund — the Future Fund — but it has no money and it's not set up along the lines the institute recommends to best serve the state. That's the opinion of the Charleston-based West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, which pushed for a type of Future Fund for several years before its creation in 2014.
Oil and gas states are seeing their severance taxes slump as a result of the plunge in prices, Brookings said in its report.
The State Journal - West Virginia is no stranger to the effects the boom-and-bust cycles of coal and natural gas can have on an economy. Read
The Mountain State, which has largely been reliant on coal and natural gas production for decades, is struggling to stay afloat. Low fuel prices and weak global markets have caused extraction companies to slash capital spending and, in some cases, close their operations entirely.
But West Virginia isn't alone.
Nearly a dozen states in the nation rely on some sort of fossil fuel extraction, including oil and shale gas, leaving them all vulnerable to these volatile markets.
With crashing oil and gas prices causing employment to decline and U.S. active rig counts to drop to record lows, a recent study out of the Brookings Institution highlighted the need for these fossil fuel-reliant states to find ways to not only minimize the devastating impacts of market busts, but also to develop a way to ensure long-term prosperity.
Fully Funding West Virginia Future Fund a Sensible Way to Protect State from Boom and Bust Energy Cycles
For Immediate Release
Contact Ted Boettner, 304-720-8682
- Establish an effective governance framework
- Define the fund's revenue source, deposit, and withdrawal rules
- Design the investment strategy
- Seize the opportunity to invest fund earnings to economic transformation
- Formulate explicit disclosure and transparency standards