Officials Debate How to Keep More Gas Development In-State
Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram - Natural gas production has taken off in the region over the last seven years, but questions remain about how to ensure West Virginia residents see as much economic benefit as possible from the abundant resources buried underfoot. Read
Officials have pointed to downstream chemical manufacturing processes as having the potential to transform locally produced ethane into long-term employment for state residents. That would come from ethane cracker plants, which "crack" the ethane into polyethylene, a feedstock for many plastics.
In the past few years, ethane cracker projects have been announced in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, though officials with Odebrecht, the Brazilian conglomerate behind the Wood County cracker plant, have been tepid toward the project ever since oil prices took a dive in 2014.