Leaders must address issues that hold back state

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The success of neighboring Ohio in attracting business development projects related to the oil and gas industry is something to be commended and, in the case of West Virginia, to be envied.

Ohio’s economic development team is obviously on the ball, and has managed to bring in $22 billion worth of projects related to the extraction of oil and natural gas from shale formations since 2010.

If Ohio manages to land two cracker plants for which it is in the running, that investment number could rise to $30 billion.

In West Virginia, by contrast, the cracker plant project in Wood County has been put on hold for now.

West Virginia lawmakers passed an industry-friendly bill, the Marcellus Gas Manufacturing and Development Act, to make the state more attractive to businesses in the oil and gas industry.

The act clarified that a cracker plant is a manufacturing facility, which allows a company to qualify for investment credits and other breaks.

Ohio officials declined to say just what kind of carrots they dangled in front of the cracker companies that enticed them to locate there.

Are West Virginia’s incentives that much less attractive, or is something else at work that is leading companies and manufacturers to shy away from the Mountain State…


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