West Virginia

   West Virginia  

Population: 1.9 Million

Energy Production

·         3,820.8 Trillion Btu total energy production

·         2,146 Thousand  barrels of crude oil (January 2012)

·         394,125 million cubic feet of natural gas

·         134,785 Thousand short tons of coal

·         6,091 Thousand MWh electricity produced (January 2012)

Energy Consumption

·         724 Trillion Btu total energy consumption

·         35.8 Million barrels of petroleum

o   19.4 Million barrels of gasoline

·         115,363 Million cubic feet of natural gas

·         35,220 Short tons of coal

State Government Profile

Governor: Earl  Ray Tomblin (D): first term; first elected in 2010; Governor is limited to 2 terms

Legislature:

Speaker of the House: Tim Miley (D)

President of the Senate: Jeffrey V. Kessler (D)

Bicameral body: Both chambers under Democratic control

100 House Members: 54 Democrats, 46 Republicans

34 Senate Members: 24 Democrats,  10 Republicans

 

Energy Issues

Late last year, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an emergency rule to increase regulatory oversight of unconventional natural gas drilling, such as horizontal drilling techniques.  Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wrote an executive order July 12 telling DEP to create regulations until legislators agree on permanent unconventional drilling regulations. The emergency rule, expected to be effective for 15 months, mandates operators submit a water management plan if using more than 210,000 gallons of water during a 1-month period. The rule also adds new permit application requirements for operators drilling horizontal gas wells. The emergency rule is intended to help DEP better regulate the state’s growing gas industry in areas such as the Marcellus Shale play. Overall, West Virginia had been eyeing new monumental oil and gas legislation for the past three legislative sessions and the legislature finally came to agreement on a number of policies this past winter. Key among them was:

 ·         Increased well location restrictions to protect water resources and surface uses

·         A requirement that a road use agreement be in place prior to permit issuance

·         Increased notice provisions and a new compensation statute for surface owners

·         Increased enforcement authority for the DEP – including increased potential civil penalties for violations of the law

·         The codification of water use and wastewater handling regulations contained largely in the Governor’s emergency rule