CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA – The Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia (GO-WV) hosted U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee, in a meeting with state and regional oil and gas industry leaders via Zoom this week. Sen. Manchin addressed a variety of timely industry topics ranging from efforts to return manufacturing to the U.S., to pipeline projects, to promoting innovation and deployment of technological advancement initiatives to improve the nation’s environment while producing energy.
When asked about preferences for types of energy fuels, Sen. Manchin was clear that for a multitude of reasons, including national security, strong and sustainable economic development, and a clean environment, the U.S. must remain energy independent and for that reason the types of fuels essential to that mission were “all of the above,” including natural gas, coal, oil, renewables, and any newly developed fuels that meet high environmental standards. Sen. Manchin said, “From my position as Chairman of the Energy Committee, I am not about ‘elimination’. I am for ‘innovation’.” He described the need for a national investment in innovation to both preserve and create jobs in a 21st Century economy.
Speaking of global warming, the Senator said that he wants data to govern U.S. policies. He said he wants global data, rather than just data on U.S. emissions, driving decisions by his committee. Sen. Manchin said, “After all, it is called the global climate, not just the American climate. I want to know what the data is for all countries so that we can establish where we rank in what we have done so far to clean up the air and what we, as well as others, should be doing. We can do our share and more, but our industries can’t clean up the air for the rest of the consuming world. It just doesn’t work that way. Everyone has to make an effort.”
Sen. Manchin spoke of the importance of moving natural gas produced in West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia to markets where it is desperately needed, noting specifically South Carolina and North Carolina, and about how stalled projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline hopefully can be resumed, jobs can be restored and investments can be made as necessary to complete the projects.
Ben Sullivan, one of the co-presidents of GO-WV, remarked, “Sen. Manchin has a remarkable command of all forms of energy, understands that being strongly committed to energy independence and the environment are complementary efforts, and is in tune with the vital nature of clean burning and abundant natural gas. We are fortunate to have him as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee.”
Tom Westfall, the other co-president of the association, went on to say, “Not only does Sen. Manchin have the knowledge base to be the Energy Committee Chairman, but he also has the energy and enthusiasm for the position. We are thankful we have such a pragmatic individual leading our country forward on energy matters, which touch all aspects of Americans daily lives – security, affordable power, economic prosperity, and environmental protectionism.”