West Virginia Coal, Oil and Gas Groups Voice Concerns about a Biden-Harris Administration

West Virginia Coal, Oil and Gas Groups Voice Concerns about a Biden-Harris Administration

November 30, 2020

Energy-rich states are bracing for impact on what a Biden-Harris presidency would mean for the oil and gas industry. Biden who said in the final presidential debate he would work to “transition from the oil industry,” has made clear with his $2 trillion clean energy proposal that he plans to go big on climate at the very outset.

Charlie Burd, Executive Director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) since 2002 voiced his worries to WVNews, that a Biden presidency will mean a return to Obama-era energy policies. Needless to say, everyone will be watching closely to see who Biden selects to lead the DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, who has spent over four decades working in the state’s coal industry, said he shares many of the same concerns.

“Trump has been very good to policies that effect us and our industry and our coal miners,” he said. “The big concern I think is they hire folks to run these agencies that have some regulatory or permitting authority over our people. That’s what the Obama administration did and they exercised what I call a ‘one directional mode’ that the commander says ‘We’re going to get rid of fossil fuels,’ …and they set out to do that.”

The Obama administration’s policies were detrimental to the state’s coal industry, Raney said.

“They closed a bunch of coal-fired power plants, they discouraged any kind of financing or involvement from anybody in fossil fuels — not only coal but natural gas as well — and the big concern is that,” he said. “What we’ve always wanted, what we’ve always asked for is a level playing field and having an opportunity to discuss with those policy makers a reasonable approach to achieve environmental protection — clean air, clean water and all of those things.”

We have seen time and time again how over-regulation and further restrictions cripple our oil and gas industry and push increased costs onto American households. We can only hope Biden takes into account the benefits the oil and gas industry has brought to our economy, workforce, and national security when setting his administration’s policies.