Recent headlines detailing how a proposed natural gas power plant in Harrison County is about to begin construction is welcome news to West Virginians looking for work. This plant, in addition to other proposed energy-related construction projects across the state, would reportedly generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs providing family-sustaining wages.
More than just providing jobs, these projects will also help reduce household energy costs, which have climbed more than 4 percent in the last year, according to an analysis from the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s Consumer Advocate Division. In 2017, the average monthly utility bill here was $307, up from $295 a year prior.
Certain areas even experienced steeper increases. More alarming is that the Consumer Advocate Division reported electricity bills saw the greatest surge in the past five years, increasing 25 percent.
These are the kind of increases that set many cash-strapped families back, especially those living on a fixed income, paycheck to paycheck, or in poverty. Natural gas can help alleviate these price increases.
Abundant, low-cost energy like natural gas produced here in West Virginia coupled with more efficient power plants built here is a winning combination that will bring increased revenue and jobs across the state.
Chris Ventura, State Director
Consumer Energy Alliance