Lawmakers React to Possible Cracker Exploration in Wood Co. - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Lawmakers React to Possible Cracker Exploration in Wood Co.

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Congressional and state lawmakers quickly began providing their reactions to the Nov. 14 announcement of a possible cracker plant in Wood County. 

The plants convert ethane from gas shale deposits to ethylene, a compound used in manufacturing plastics.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the possibility of the purchase of Wood County land by Odebrecht is a sign of the state's continued development of natural gas drilling.

"I am extremely pleased that Gov. Tomblin has announced that the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, is interested in exploring the development of a new petrochemical complex in Wood County," Manchin said. "After years of our local and state leaders working together with energy companies worldwide, this is a textbook example of how a public-private partnership can strengthen not only West Virginia but also the entire Mid-Ohio Valley region."

Manchin said he wanted to thank the governor and business leaders for their involvement in making the deal possible.

"It will create thousands of good-paying jobs in the construction, energy and manufacturing sectors, while keeping us strong and competitive."

"I stand ready to assist in any way I can while also making sure this administration and the EPA work as our partner and not as our adversary."

Tim Miley, speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates, was thrilled to take part in the announcement of the Brazilian company, Odebrecht, Nov. 14.

"This is a first step, but it is a huge step, probably the biggest of all steps that need to take place for West Virginia's natural gas industry and we will do everything we can to make this plan a reality," Miley said. "I have great faith in West Virginians and their work ethic, and this is an opportunity of a lifetime to improve West Virginia's economy for generations to come."

The state's stable economy is stable and climbing, officials said.

"In the nine years I have been in office, state leaders have been working to ensure that West Virginia continues to be in a position to move forward economically," he said. "This news is a definitive sign tat the hard work and perseverance is paying off."

"It confirms that the state is heading in the right direction — toward excelled job creation for our residents and further economic development for West Virginia."

Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., said the announcement was "great news for Wood County and the entire state."

"The thousands of jobs and billions in investments that will result from this project will transform our state's economy for decades to come," McKinley said. "Since coming to Congress three years ago, our office has been working to take advantage of the energy abundance below our feet and attract a cracker facility to West Virginia. We've lived through the disappointment when Shell decided to locate elsewhere but vowed to not let that happen again."

"West Virginia is blessed with an abundance of natural gas and it is vital that we take full advantage of this resource," he said. "For the hardworking people of Wood County and the surrounding area this is a great day and sign of good things to come."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the announcement brings the opportunity for robust economic development and much-needed job creation in the region.

"However, we're at a frontier of the fracking revolution and everything surrounding shale gas development absolutely must be done responsibly. West Virginia stands to benefit greatly from today's announcement, but only if the environmental, health and economic interests of West Virginias are the top priority every step of the way."

U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said he looks forward to watching the relationship between Odebrecht and its Braskem America plastics plant in Wayne County grow.

"I look forward to watching that relationship and this new proposal blossom with the fervent hope that this new venture translates into the growth of jobs and economic opportunities locally."

U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said the announcement "highlights how West Virginia can use its vast reserves of Marcellus Shale natural gas to improve our economy and the quality of life in the Ohio Valley and across West Virginia."

"While obstacles do remain, I am ready to work with local, state and federal officials to overcome these issues and make this ethane cracker — and these jobs— a reality for the people of the Mountain State."