CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV News) — A large majority of West Virginians — 81% — support natural gas and oil drilling in the state, a recent survey commissioned by the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia Inc. found.
The survey also found 52% of West Virginians ranked inflation as the most important issue facing the state, followed by energy independence (17%) and the environment (10%).
While voters are concerned about the rising cost of living, nearly 60% blame government overspending as the cause and nearly 8 in 10 favor policies that increase domestic drilling and the completion of pipeline projects to ease inflationary burdens, according to the survey.
“These survey results let us know that natural gas is the solution to the problems that West Virginians are worried about,” said Charlie Burd, executive director of GO-WV. “When it comes to the country’s most pressing issues like inflation, energy affordability, reliability, and cleaner air, West Virginians’ message is simple: We need to support domestic development of natural gas and oil where we do it cleaner and cheaper than anywhere else in the world.”
The survey also found 70% of West Virginians have a favorable impression of the natural gas and oil sector.
Additional key findings include:
• West Virginians strongly favor innovation over bans on development and use. When asked whether to choose government-imposed bans or industry innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 7 in 10 West Virginians choose innovation.
• Nearly 8 in 10 respondents favor an all-of-the above electricity generation strategy inclusive of natural gas, coal and renewables, despite approximately 90% of West Virginia electricity currently being generated by coal.
• Cost remains a leading factor in electricity choice, with 65% of West Virginians unwilling to pay more for alternative energy sources like wind and solar.
“We are proud to see West Virginians so strongly support the natural gas and oil industry, which continues to invest billions in West Virginia, to support the economy, our communities, and our country’s energy needs,” Burd continued.
The survey was conducted by The Strategy Group Co. and took place July 18-27, 2022.
Results come from a sample of 899 West Virginia adults, collected via live-phone interviews, interactive voice response, and SMS text. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.
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