June 7, 2012
PARKERSBURG – West Virginia can be a leader for energy independence by taking advantage of its abundance of natural gas, a candidate for governor said on Wednesday.
The state can set the example for the rest of the nation by converting government vehicle fleets to natural gas, particularly larger trucks and buses, Republican Bill Maloney said.
“If you can lead, others will follow,” said Maloney, a Morgantown businessman who is running against incumbent Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat. The general election is in November.
Present conditions have never before existed, Maloney said.
“Never before have we seen such glaring price disparities between coal and natural gas,” he said. “Despite the government’s constant meddling, global markets will eventually sort out these disparities.
“You are seeing that right now with LNG terminals once designed to bring gas into U.S. markets being retrofitted to ship it overseas. International companies are moving manufacturing and petrochemical facilities back to the United States based on low-cost natural gas and power supplies,” Maloney said. “As we’ve been preaching for the past year, fixing a few basic things like our courts and tax code will make us more competitive with our surrounding states. With these important changes, West Virginia is poised for growth.”
Now is the time for the state to take the lead and make the nation energy independent by using natural gas as a transportation fuel, he said. The state also can install natural gas fueling stations that can be shared with the private sector, Maloney said.
In the United States today, more than 11,000 transit buses, 4,000 refuse trucks and 3,000 school buses are using natural gas, Maloney said. Tens of thousands of other medium and light duty vehicles are fueled by natural gas, he said.
If the price of natural gas stays low and it is fairer for job creators to do business in West Virginia, then more natural gas fueling stations will eventually come, he said.
“Leadership in the governor’s office that takes on the overreach of President Obama and his job-killing policies will also go a long way toward achieving the goal of energy independence from tyrants in Venezuela and Iran,” he said. “America needs an all-inclusive energy policy and here in West Virginia we need to be in a position to have affordable natural gas available for transportation while we continue to provide affordable, reliable coal-fired electricity.
“With both coal and natural gas on our side, there is no excuse for West Virginia to have fewer job opportunities than any other state in the country,” Maloney said. “West Virginia needs to be an energy leader. Let’s quit talking and start doing.”