Energy Transfer’s Kelcy Warren: How Responsible Natural Resources Operations Benefit Communities

Energy Transfer is known for its pipelines and other energy-providing structures that touch 41 states throughout the U.S. In addition to these resources, the company also manages about 675,000 acres of land in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. These areas are managed by Penn Virginia Operating Co. (an Energy Transfer subsidiary).

The operations in these areas are myriad, including managing royalties that come from harvesting fossil fuels, retailing timber, and leasing land to private companies and individuals for both industrial and farming use.

Many of these areas have been negatively affected by the downfall of the area economy following the decline of the mining boom. The Natural Resources Operations subsidiary brings jobs to the area–approximately 3,500 acres in the area are being used for commercial farming, and more than 1,000 acres are being used to raise cattle.

Kelcy Warren, Executive Chairman of Energy Transfer, is proud to be able to contribute to operations that help to preserve the natural beauty across the four states.

“We recognize the responsibility that comes with operating our Natural Resources Operations across four states and we are committed to managing them in a manner that preserves and restores the natural beauty of the area,” says Warren. He stated that he feels proud that Energy Transfer is one of the largest land owners in the state of West Virginia, allowing the company to provide the state and its citizens with significant tax revenue, contributing to the economic well-being of the area.

Energy Transfer is proud to create conservation efforts that allow the company to help preserve the land in the area. The company brings certified foresters onto their team to work on forestry projects and monitor tree growth on nearly a quarter of a million acres in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Together with professional foresters, Energy Transfer works to ensure that the timber operations in the area are being used at a sustainable rate, meaning the yield of the forests is not greater than new tree growth.

While much of the land is used for timber, it’s also used for professional and recreational purposes, according to Kelcy Warren. Energy Transfer collaborates with the National Guard to create space for training, as well as with local colleges and universities to develop opportunities for research. The area also offers rich recreational activities, including sporting clay shooting and hunting. Energy Transfer works closely with local officials to utilize the land in a way that supports local business developments and creates jobs for people local to the area.

One of the small businesses that leases from Energy Transfer–Appalachian Botanical Company–is one of the company’s most notable success stories. The West Virginia business was founded in 2018 by Jocelyn Sheppard. With her team, Sheppard works to raise bees and grow lavender on land that was once used for mining. Sheppard uses the honey and lavender to create wellness products, including body cream and essential oils.

Lavender can’t grow just anywhere–the tough plant thrives in the rocky soil that’s found in areas that were once used to mine coal. Regular testing helps to ensure that the company’s lavender is free from contaminants left behind from the days when the area was used as a mine.

Appalachian Botanical Company is working to both create ways to successfully rehabilitate mining land and create dignified jobs for people who may have issues that make it harder to follow a traditional career path. The company is currently using 75 acres to grow lavender and raise bees, and hopes, with the support of Energy Transfer, to eventually become the largest lavender supplier in the United States.

Learn more about Energy Transfer Partner’s conservation efforts here: