CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At a time when the national unemployment rate stands at 8.3 percent and 24 million Americans are unemployed, under-employed or have given up looking for work, West Virginia finds itself in an enviable position.
Unlike many other states, we are blessed with abundant natural resources that can be harnessed to create jobs and increase U.S. energy security. One key to West Virginia's energy potential is technology, especially hydraulic fracturing which is unlocking oil and natural gas from deep hard-rock formations, including the Marcellus Shale.
Today, the United States has more natural gas and oil than was estimated just a decade ago. The use of hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus and other shale formations has prompted the U.S. Energy Information Administration to estimate that the United States has about a 100-year supply of natural gas. As supplies have increased, the price of natural gas has fallen below $3 per thousand cubic feet, helping consumers and energy-intensive industries control their costs.