By W. Brian Nickerson
As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the proposed ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia, could potentially have a multi-billion dollar positive effect on the state’s economy. Emeritus Professor of Economics Tom S. Witt of West Virginia University authored a report, entitled “Building Value from Shale Gas: The Promise of Expanding Petrochemicals in West Virginia,” wherein he analyzed the short and long term impact of the proposed facility on West Virginia’s economy. Based upon the conclusions of Professor Witt’s report, the construction and operation of the proposed ethane cracker plant could generate a total of 19,710 jobs, representing employee compensation of $1.047 Billion and total economic output of $2.261 Billion. Professor Witt, in his report and in an interview with the Charleston Daily Mail, gives specific policy and legislative recommendations for West Virginia to successfully attract large scale projects, such as the ethane cracker.
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