FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Natural Gas Industry Provides Significant Contributions to K-12, Higher Education in West Virginia
Charleston, W.Va.(September 10, 2018) – West Virginia’s natural gas industry is heavily engaged in helping students, teachers and schools – both K-12 and higher education – improve learning opportunities and educational outcomes through its support of myriad initiatives across the state, representatives of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) announced.
“Our members and their employees live and work in communities across West Virginia and we want to do all we can to make sure our students receive the best education possible,” said Anne Blankenship, executive director of WVONGA.
Blankenship said the industry is involved in supporting elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities in West Virginia. Additionally, the industry supports a variety of education-related philanthropic organizations offering cutting edge programming focused on broadening learning opportunities in STEM, leadership, and energy curriculums.
Blankenship said programming focused on educating students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a priority for many WVONGA members. Recent initiatives include:
- -Dominion Energy contributed over $130,000.00 to numerous educational initiatives across northcentral WV, focusing on environmental and STEM education.
- -Chevron provides Innovation Grants to West Virginia Schools while also supporting the Star Smart astronomy program for Marshall County schools.
- -XTO supports The Challenge Program at North Marion High School and STEM projects at Jane Lew Elementary School.
- -Southwestern Energy supports STEM and Technology Student Association clubs in six northern panhandle high schools.
- -MarkWest Energy’s establishment of a postsecondary STEM scholarship program through the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley for several school districts in West Virginia.
Other examples of natural gas industry support with West Virginia schools and students include:
- -Antero Resources supports a host of educational initiatives across the counties in which it operates, which include teacher education, Future Business Leaders of America and local school programs.
- -Chevron fully funded Project Lead The Waycurriculum in all Marshall County K-12 classrooms and provides scholarships for West Virginia Boys and Girls State.
- -Dominion Energy deployed more than 70 volunteers to make necessary repairs and improvements to both the Jane Lew and Peterson Central Elementary School playgrounds in Lewis County.
- -Atlantic Coast Pipeline employees and their families have contributed thousands of dollars in school supplies for children.
- -MarkWest Energy supports The Challenge Programat Doddridge County High School and is a Partner in Educationwith Sand Hill Elementary.
Blankenship said the industry’s educational involvement isn’t limited to K-12. Other initiatives include:
- -ExxonMobil and its employees, including XTO staff, contributed over $287,000 to nine institutions of higher education across WV.
- -Southwestern Energy provides scholarships to WV Northern Community & Technical College and Pierpont Community & Technical College, as well as job site learning opportunities.
- -Through donations of funds and in-kind technical support, Dominion Energy facilitated the opening of the one-of-a-kind Natural Gas Measurement Lab at West Virginia University.
- -MarkWest Energy offers a college scholarship program for students at Cameron, Valley and Doddridge County high schools.
“These are just small snapshots of the involvement our members have with the education community in the state,” Blankenship said. “The industry is very committed to doing all it can to help West Virginia youth grow and prosper.”
Property taxes on oil and natural gas industry operations in the state provided nearly $90 million to county governments and school systems during the 2018 tax year. This is in addition to the more than $100 million in natural gas severance tax payments distributed to state, county and municipal budgets.
For additional information, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609.
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