West Virginia's natural gas producers have kicked off a three-year campaign to educate state residents on the benefits the industry has to offer.
Campaign Director Lloyd Jackson says the natural gas industry has been a part of West Virginia's history for more than 100 years and has, for the most part, conducted its business quietly. He says it's time to change that.
According to campaign organizers, West Virginia is the largest natural gas producer east of the Mississippi River and drilling is conducted in 49 of the state's 55 counties.
The campaign will inform residents of the industry's economic importance to the state, highlight job opportunities and establish an energy curriculum in public schools.
Industry officials also plan to promote natural gas through advertisements on 40 billboards that say "Natural Gas: Fueling our Future with 15,000 West Virginia jobs."
The campaign is a joint effort of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.