West Virginia Department of Commerce

Greenbrier Resort
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered a state agency to remove its sponsorship of this year's Greenbrier Classic.

Justice said in a news release Thursday he didn't feel comfortable with the Department of Commerce's participation in the PGA Tour event at The Greenbrier resort he owns.

On The Legislature Today, days before Republican Legislative leaders previewed their plan to balance the 2018 budget, members of the House Liberty Caucus came up with a solution of their own.

Delegates Pat McGeehan and Michael Folk introduced their budget bill Thursday in the House of Delegates. It makes cuts to "government bureaucracy" in Charleston, smooths payments to the teacher's retirement system, and cuts Gov. Jim Justice's $105 million "SOS Fund" to not just find a balance, but include a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. 

The delegates discuss their plan and why it should be considered a "blueprint" for their fellow Republicans.

West Virginia's new commerce secretary says he is trying to avoid conflicts of interest as he assumes his new role, but he isn't willing to give up ownership in one of the largest engineering firms in the state.

Woody Thrasher is an owner of Thrasher Group, which according to state data, has received nearly $15 million from government contracts since 1995.

Flood, Elkview
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Commerce says more than $1.4 million has been awarded to small businesses in 11 counties in the state's long-term recovery initiative following last June's flooding.

According to the department, more than 100 applications were submitted shortly after the program was announced to help businesses stay open.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Unemployment increased in West Virginia in October but has declined over the past year.

The state said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 6 percent, with an increase of 2,400 unemployed residents, bringing the total to 47,900.

Ginseng diggers are heading to West Virginia's forests as the season for harvesting the plant opens.

West Virginia's ginseng season begins Thursday and runs through Nov. 30.

Swimming Pool
Lyn Lomasi / wikimedia commons

Officials have delayed opening six swimming pools managed by the Division of Natural Resources due to the uncertainty over the upcoming state budget.

Department of Commerce spokeswoman Chelsea Ruby says the openings have been pushed back for pools at Panther Wildlife Management Area, Twin Falls Resort State Park, Cabwaylingo State Forest, Babcock State Park, Watoga State Park and Kanawha State Forest.

natural gas, fracking
wikimedia

West Virginia has received $18 million so far from leases granted to state officials to drill for oil and natural gas below state wildlife management areas and waterways, including beneath the Ohio River.

But as natural gas prices stay low, state officials say they've only received up-front checks so far, and no royalties for unearthing the resources from the deep shale deposits. No companies with state leases have begun extracting gas, as far as state Department of Commerce officials know.

WVSU campus in Institute, W.Va.
Steve Shaluta / W.Va. Department of Commerce

The West Virginia State University Economic Development Center will host a seminar for business owners interested in expanding their customer base internationally.

The seminar is scheduled for Wednesday.

W. Va. Company to Sell Mine Equipment to China

Jun 18, 2015

A delegation from China was in West Virginia today to sign agreements with representatives from the state's business, educational and government agencies.  

Zhang Wendong, the Educational Department
Director-General of the Shanxi province in China was one of the dignitaries signing memorandums of understanding to promote educational exchanges and business collaborations.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia businesses looking for new customers may find them by exporting their goods to Poland. The West Virginia Development Office International Division and the U.S. Commercial Service are offering an introductory session on market entry opportunities in Poland three times during March.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

Companies have bid millions of dollars to drill for oil and natural gas beneath several state-owned lands in West Virginia.

On Friday, the state Department of Commerce opened bids for Marcellus shale fracking under several tracts of land.

Antero ResourceFish s bid about $8,100 per acre, or $2.3 million total, for mineral rights under Jug Wildlife Management Area in Tyler County. Jay-Bee Production Company bid between $5,000 and about $16,300 per acre for different parts of the same land.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

  West Virginia is negotiating a lease with Noble Energy for oil and gas drilling under the Ohio River.

Department of Commerce spokeswoman Chelsea Ruby tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that Noble submitted the highest bid to lease a 1,400-acre state-owned tract under the river.

Ruby says Noble has agreed to pay $3,500 per acre to lease the land. She didn't say what percentage of production royalties Noble will pay the state.

Noble spokeswoman Stacey Brodak declined comment on the deal because it hasn't been finalized.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

  

West Virginia officials are unveiling offers to frack under wildlife conservation land in Tyler County.

On Friday in Charleston, the state Department of Commerce will publicly open bids for oil and natural gas rights under Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area.

The bid deadline on the 518 acres was Thursday. A 20-percent royalty on what's extracted is required.