In recent years, Ohio has built 19 gas-fired power plants and Pennsylvania has built 22. West Virginia, on the other hand, has built none. If natural gas is the future of generating electricity, West Virginia is missing an opportunity, state Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said, according to The Exponent Telegram.
Not only is West Virginia lacking a gas-fired power plant, the only one it has on the drawing board is tied up in a court battle. According to Thrasher, the rising cost of energy in the state is making it harder to attract new business and industry.
Given the vast amounts of natural gas in the state, the disparity between West Virginia and its neighbors, Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems extreme. State and local government officials believe West Virginia’s lag is a result of its higher property taxes and increased regulation.