With midterm elections just around the corner, lawmakers and other entities weighed in on developments that they would like to see or avoid when it comes to the matter of energy.

Last year saw the state Legislature pass West Virginia House Bill 4268, known as the Co-Tenancy and Majority Protection Act which was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice. Although controversial, it was approved by members of the energy industry as a means of speeding up natural gas production. Now, leaders of the industry say they don’t want to see the natural gas severance tax go up.

“We would be very watchful of attempts to increase severance taxes,” said Charlie Burd, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia. “We believe any increase on our 5 percent of severance tax only serves to make us less competitive to those states contiguous to us that have lower or no severance taxes at all. We would be looking to protect our producer operators from any increase so that they stay as competitive as possible.”

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