The article on page 5A about a report from the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy about how energy development has affected West Virginia’s economy and way of life in the past was of particular note to us this week. It says that the booms and busts that kind of development naturally create have historically left communities rather empty in more ways than just underground caverns where fossil fuels were once ready for harvest.
When the activity is over, the communities have been less educated and with poorer health, not to mention without many jobs.
As Wetzel County and many other areas are just beginning to feel the effects of the Marcellus Shale development, we hope people can find ways to sustain at least some of the positive aspects enjoyed by the boom. The WVCBP report suggests a government program such as those taken on in other states. That may be wise advice, but we hope long-term advancement is also considered on a more personal level.
Lease and royalty payments may be rolling in for some and we hope it will be money thoughtfully considered.