Press Release: State of the Mountain State, Energy


November 28, 2018 


Amanda Kieffer, Communications Associate at The Cardinal Institute for WV Policy

PHONE: (304) 541-9551 |  EMAIL: [email protected]

The Natural Gas Industry Has a Higher Favorability Rating Than the Coal Industry Among West Virginians

74% of West Virginians rate natural gas favorably while only 67% rate coal favorably

 Charleston, WV – Today the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy released the next installment in their 2018 “State of the Mountain State” polling series – Energy Policy in West Virginia. The Cardinal Institute surveyed attitudes across the state regarding the coal industry, the natural gas industry, the renewable energy industry, and the nuclear energy industry.

While 67 percent of West Virginians still view the coal industry favorably, the natural gas industry is actually enjoying a higher favorability rating at 74 percent. The Cardinal Institute’s previous polling release on General Economic Outlook found that 24 percent – a plurality – of West Virginians believe that the natural gas industry has the greatest potential to create jobs; showing that Mountaineers still value the natural resources of this state as a means for robust job creation and economic growth.

Additionally, 54 percent of West Virginians have a favorable view of the nuclear power industry and 50 percent of West Virginians support the construction of nuclear power plants. Renewable energy also has a very high favorability rating of 79 percent.

“Given West Virginia’s history with natural resources and energy production, the Cardinal Institute thought it prudent to see what West Virginians actually think about the industry,” said Garrett Ballengee, Executive Director of the Cardinal Institute. “We thought it was interesting to see that 63 percent of West Virginians believe that the free market should determine the cost of energy. We were also intrigued to see that 50 percent of West Virginians support the building of nuclear power plants.”

To schedule an interview, contact Amanda Kieffer at 304-541-9551 or [email protected].

About the Cardinal Institute

The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit founded in 2014 dedicated to research, develop and communicate effective free market economic public policies for West Virginia.


Energy Policy Questions:

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following energy industries operating in West Virginia?


  Very Favorable Some Favorable Some Unfavorable Very Unfavorable DK/NA
The Coal Industry 37% 30% 16% 13% 3%
The Natural Gas Industry 32% 42% 14% 6% 7%
The Renewable Energy Industry such as hydro and solar power 46% 33% 10% 17% 18%
The Nuclear Energy Industry 12% 32% 22% 17% 18%



Do you support or oppose construction of Nuclear Power Plants in West Virginia to provide more businesses and people with electricity?

(12%) Strongly support

(38%) Somewhat support

(21%) Somewhat oppose

(22%) Strongly oppose

(8%) Dk/Na

Which of the following comes closest to your opinion regarding the energy industry in West Virginia?

(63%) I believe the free market should determine the cost of energy, such as coal and natural gas, and what they can be sold for.


(21%) I believe the government agencies and bureaucrats should set the costs of energy, such as coal and natural gas, and what they can be sold for.

(16%) Dk/Na/Rf (DNR)

Survey Note:
The survey was sponsored by the Cardinal Institute for WV Policy to better understand the perceptions and opinions of 405 West Virginia registered voters on a host of public policy issues. It was conducted by MBE, LLC. Some totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding. The survey was conducted via online panel sampling during September 2018. Respondents self-identified as:
(42%) Democrat; (33%) Republican; (25%) Independent/other


The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy works alongside Mountaineers to build a West Virginia Miracle founded on economic freedom, education freedom, worker freedom, and a culture of freedom enshrined in the state motto: Mountaineers are Always Free.

To keep up with our work to promote free markets, individual liberty, and
limited government in West Virginia, please sign up for our email list.

Thank you for helping us build the West Virginia Miracle!