Appalachian Basin

Governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia Renew Pledge to Support Shale

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “continue efforts to maximize growth in the shale gas region.”   The agreement will extend the 2015 Tri-State Shale Coalition through 2021.  

Gov. Wolf commented on the agreement in a press release from his office stating,

“The shale gas resources in the Appalachian Basin represent enormous economic opportunity not just for Pennsylvania, but for the region as a whole. We have a unique proposition: abundant and low-cost feedstock for petrochemical and plastics manufacturing, all within the same geographic footprint. I’m proud to continue our successful collaboration with Ohio and West Virginia to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support additional development – and the jobs and economic growth that go with it – in a region with an unprecedented natural resource.”

Gov. Kasich’s office put out a press release as well, stating,

“With the agreement extension through December 31, 2021, the three neighboring states within the Appalachian Basin will continue to discuss ways to cooperate in marketing efforts to attract new businesses, strengthen workforce development programs, spur investments in expanding infrastructure and delivery of natural gas and liquids, and encourage its academic institutions to expand and collaborate on research.”

In a recent interview with WV News, Gov. Justice said,

“Instead of competing, our three states are working together to promote the region as a center for shale-related manufacturing. Shale gas presents an opportunity to spur economic growth beyond the wellhead. We are working to attract investors and downstream partners. We are encouraging chemicals and plastics manufacturers to come here, stay here and grow here with us in the Appalachian region.”

Since 2015, the coalition has hosted a few summits where “government, educational and industry leaders from throughout the region gather to share information and best practices.” So why does this matter? From our perspective it matters because it’s a signal from all three states that they want to see a continuation of shale-related investment in the region.  As we heard recently from Belmont County Port Authority (BCPA) Executive Director Larry Merry, the people who actually live and work in these states — and more specifically, along the Ohio River — are incredibly supportive of shale development. They see a real opportunity to improve their standard of living.  Shale development from the Appalachian Basin and the related petrochemical manufacturing opportunity presents a“ historic region-changing event” for these three states and it’s great to see all three governors embrace that reality.

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