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Natural Gas Industry Looking for Public Support in WV

By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer
By: LAWRENCE MESSINA - Associated Press Writer
West Virginia

Courtesy: Trans Energy Inc.

West Virginia's natural gas industry is drilling for public support as interest grows in the state's share of the rich Marcellus shale field.

The Just Beneath the Surface alliance, launched Wednesday, touts the industry's economic contributions while addressing concerns over the methods used to tap the Marcellus.

The campaign's leaders say natural gas operations employ 35,000 people in West Virginia, and at high wages. They predict such benefits will increase as industry develops the shale field's vast reserves.

The alliance also seeks to build public confidence in hydraulic fracturing. That's the process that mixes high volumes of water with chemicals to crack the shale.

Advocates of more rules to govern Marcellus drilling say recent incidents in neighboring Pennsylvania underscore the environmental concerns.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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