PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Update: 7/17/2019
The local oil and gas industry reacts to the passage of bills, by a U.S. Senate committee, promoting an Appalachian storage hub for natural gas.
The head of the Polymer Alliance Zone says that's only one of several developments in promoting the production and use of the region's natural gas reserves.
"There's a lot happening in this area, and a lot needs to happen, if we're going to take full advantage of the natural gas we're producing," says President/CEO Keith Burdette. "We need to create value-added products and investment-related jobs in our area, instead of shipping it out somewhere else where they can do that."
Burdette notes there are already a number of storage hub projects already in the works, including some by private companies.
He says West Virginia's congressional delegation, along with those in neighboring states, is very supportive of the federal legislation.
Legislation winding its way through Congress could eventually lead to the construction of a natural-gas storage hub in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
An Appalachian Storage Hub has been discussed for years, but a package of bills passed Tuesday by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, takes a step toward requiring the Department of Energy to study the viability of such a hub.
"It's a tremendous step in the right direction, for us to get back to manufacturing, keeping these products, if you will, the resources that we have that are the building blocks and the stock feed for manufacturing, so that we can create good jobs and people can have family wage to where they can take care of themselves and their family,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said. ”That's what we're working toward."
The storage-hub legislation was among eight energy bills the committee approved on Wednesday. Manchin, the panel’s ranking member, said they will make up an omnibus energy bill in the Senate.
Part of the legislation passed on Tuesday, known as the EFFECT Act, also calls for the DOE to establish four research and development programs focused on coal and natural-gas technology, carbon storage, carbon utilization and carbon removal.
Another part of the legislation, the REEACT Act, would allow for the development of technology capable of extracting rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts to re-establish a U.S.-based supply chain.