The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) has overwhelmingly endorsed the candidacy of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for re-election.  Scott Freshwater, president of the organization said that the active role Attorney General Morrisey has taken in behalf of the natural gas industry to ward off excessive, unnecessary and costly regulations has been refreshing.  Freshwater said, “In an otherwise very difficult set of circumstances for those whose business is to develop clean burning and abundant natural gas for the benefit of West Virginia and the nation, Attorney General Morrisey’s actions have provided a ray of hope and evidence that someone in leadership in our state really cares.  His single action of challenging the authority of the U.S. EPA to unnecessarily regulate methane emissions from oil and gas operations has been one positive in a relative sea of negatives facing the West Virginia oil and natural gas industry.”

Following a change in the trade association’s bylaws, this is the first time an endorsement of a candidate for statewide office has been made by IOGAWV.  Charlie Burd, IOGA’s executive director, in noting there was no disagreement among board members on the matter, said, “Attorney General Morrisey has proven to be a friend of the natural gas producers in West Virginia and has proven he is willing to assert himself in our behalf when he has the opportunity to do so – and the natural gas industry really needs this sort of support from the state’s attorney general.  Attorney General Morrisey has earned the support of IOGA members and their thousands of employees across West Virginia.”

In response to the endorsement, Morrisey said he was flattered and appreciative of the support saying, “It is my job to enforce the rule of law and to not allow federal regulatory agencies to overstep their bounds and regulate West Virginians out of their jobs – which is what the U.S. EPA has been attempting to do to our miners and our oil and gas workers.  I will fight non-stop to protect West Virginia jobs.  There is no justification for the EPA rule on methane emissions and we are working to make sure it is not imposed on West Virginia’s natural gas industry.  All it does is cost hardworking West Virginians their jobs and drives up the cost of producing natural gas to the detriment of producers and consumers of natural gas.”

Morrisey, who has been acclaimed by the extraction industry as a state leader willing to take on the Administration in Washington and particularly the overreaching EPA is seeking his second term as West Virginia’s Attorney General.  He has become identified with willing to take on tough issues on the national stage to combat prescription drug abuse, unwarranted over-zealous environmental regulations, consumer protection issues and protection of the rights of senior citizens.