(02/15/2014)
THE POWER OF MONEY AND THE POLITICOS THAT GO ALONG

By Bob Weaver

What natural gas production means to poor, rural counties like Calhoun is subject to question, with the collection and distribution of gas taxes by the State of West Virginia.

Obviously, the Marcellus gas boom has pumped money into some WV counties, but local drillers and producers have essentially been put out of the "boom," unable to financially complete with the mega-drilling companies, those companies declining to provide the numbers of local workers that have been hired in their ventures.

In the rural regional counties, gas company jobs continue to decline.

While taxes on extractables are a major resource for state government, the counties under which the extractables are taken enjoy little of the proceeds, particularly in the long haul.

In West Virginia, for example, the counties under which the most coal is extracted in the last century, are among the poorest counties in the USA.

Perhaps the most egregious public relations lie in 2008 was from six regional producers that was published in the Calhoun Chronicle, saying nearly 3,000 gas wells had been drilled in Calhoun, far from being a fact, but further stating:

"Last year, Calhoun received more than $2,466,304 in severance tax and property tax revenue because of the production of natural gas, with the lion's share going to local schools." A check on the actual gas severance tax money received by the Calhoun County Commission that year was about $111,000.

Since then, statistics, while showing Calhoun was fourth of regional counties in gas output, has received less than $100,000 annually for county use.

The local school system received more.

Natural gas is becoming the energy source for future.

ACTIVE OIL AND GAS WELLS

Ritchie: 2012-4,999; 2011-5,172; 2010-5,022; 2009-4,651; 2008-5,055.

Gilmer: 2012-3,287; 2011-3,225; 2010-3,241; 2009-3,283; 2008-3,218.

Calhoun: 2012-2,799; 2011-2,930; 2010: 2,607; 2009-2,610; 2008-2,631.

Roane: 2012-2,020; 2011-2,039; 2010-1,930; 2009-1,757; 2008-1,936.

Wirt: 2012-545; 2011-550; 2010-499; 2009-521; 2008-563.

Braxton: 2012-1,322; 2011-1,276; 2010-1,183; 2009-1,305; 2008-1,313.

Wirt: 2012-545; 2011-550; 2010-499; 2009-521; 2008-563.

NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION (mcf)

Ritchie: 2012-9,523,407; 2011-8,417,148; 2010-8,449,026; 2009-8,339,813; 2008-9,197,274.

Gilmer: 2012-6,061,821; 2011-6,271,606; 2010-6,707,567; 2009-6,849,234; 2008-6,872,802.

Roane: 2012-4,110,341; 2011-3,672,147; 2010-3,568,971; 2009-3,623,399; 2008-3,560,058.

Calhoun: 2012-3,594,765; 2011-3,940,819; 2010-3,843,714; 2009-3,808,899; 2008-3,877,089.

Clay: 2012-2,528,011; 2011-2,655,230; 2010-2,636,078; 2009-2,788,521; 2008-3,108,083.

Braxton: 2012-2,491,998; 2011-2,692,036; 2010-2,893,450; 2009-3,281,812; 2008-3,543,147.

Wirt: 2012-442,189; 2011-461,585; 2010-479,767; 2009-415,858; 2008-453,209.

OIL PRODUCTION (bbl)

Ritchie 2012-163,236

Roane 2012-115,638

Gilmer 2012-99,347

Calhoun 2012-96,464

Clay 2012-59,149

Wirt 2012-26,344

Braxton 2012-14,186


Hur Herald ®from Sunny Cal
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