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Legislative Lookahead: Delegate says Wood County ethane cracker plant ‘wasn’t to be’


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – While the minority chairman of the House Finance Committee said he hasn’t heard the planned cracker plant in Wood County is dead, he said Friday that the project “wasn’t to be.”“I went to the announcement in Parkersburg … several years ago,” said Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, whose district includes Gilmer County. “Everyone was really excited about the prospect of having that come into play, the jobs, the downstream jobs. But it wasn’t to be.”
Boggs spoke during a session of the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead in Charleston on Friday. He was answering a question about tax incentives to draw businesses that would benefit from the state’s natural gas supply.

Delegate Brent Boggs, D-Braxton, talks about economic development and possible tax legislation during the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead Friday, Jan. 5, in Charleston. West Virginia Press Association Photo

Sen. Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha, said the state needs to find ways to be more attractive to downstream operations, such as cracker plants. Boggs said the state can’t put all its eggs in one basket, citing the planned cracker plant in Wood County, which stalled after being announced with much fanfare in 2013 by then-Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Later in the panel discussion, in talking about hopelessness among job-seekers in the state, Boggs said again, “a cracker is not coming to their area.”

After the session, Boggs said the site is still very attractive, whether to the original developers, Braskem and Odebrecht, or another company.

“Even if it was a different company, a different cracker plant, it doesn’t change the fact that the attributes of that site are terrific,” he said, noting its proximity to river, rail and road. …


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