West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 46

state; thousands of high-paying jobs with benefits; the incorpo- ration of hundreds of local businesses used as subcontractors; hotel and motel night stays; restaurant and food service needs; increased state, county and local tax revenues; and payments of millions of dollars in rights-of-way access to landowners. WVE: What is the one law or one change that would have a major positive impact on your industry? CB: IOGAWV’s top legislative priority is to get financial and regulatory relief on aboveground storage tanks located in the zone of peripheral concern that are 210 barrels or less in size that contain produced fluids like brine water and trace oil, are regulated under other state-approved compliance programs and that, according to former West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman, present minimal to nil threat to human health. The industry absolutely supports the registration of all aboveground storage tanks. However, the financial and regu- latory burden associated with the Aboveground Storage Tanks Act to the classification of tanks described here is, quite simply, duplicative, extremely costly and unneeded. These unnecessary costs have caused many oil and gas companies to reduce work- force and may force them to cease operations. This situation is dire for many oil and gas producers. 44 WEST VIRGINIA EXECUTIVE Rebecca McPhail President, West Virginia Manufacturers Association WVE: Give us a brief update on your industry. RM: Manufacturing is well posi- tioned for growth in West Virginia thanks in large part to the poten- tial for downstream development of ethane and other shale-related byprod- ucts. Manufacturing employs nearly 48,000 people, more than any other heavy industry in the state. WVE: How do you think the new state and national leadership will affect your industry? RM: The administration and legislative leadership seem to understand the potential for growth that exists in the manufac- turing sector. Legislative leadership is demonstrating a will to consider policy that helps make West Virginia more competitive with surrounding states and is also looking carefully at existing policies and regulations that may be impeding industry growth.