Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced the creation of a special Marcellus to Manufacturing Task Force. Speaking at the State Capitol, Tomblin said he is taking “a step forward with an economic development opportunity that I believe is right for West Virginia and our future.” “I believe Marcellus Shale is an opportunity whose time has come for us.” He noted that not only does Marcellus Shale production benefit the state as an energy source, but it also can benefit through the extraction of ethane, which could reinvigorate the state’s manufacturing sector.
Tomblin said he has asked the team of experts to come together to address these areas:
1) Research of all natural gas byproducts for potential economic development;
2) Identify existing facilities that could be modified to support such byproduct industries in West Virginia and formulate a West Virginia Marcellus-to-manufacturing action plan;
3) Research and analyze the feasibility of converting ethane to ethylene;
4) Identify potential companies that specialize in constructing or operating thermal or steam crackers in West Virginia; and
5) Develop strategies for recruiting such companies and studying existing pipelines or storage facilities that may be upgraded to accommodate the manufacturing processes associated with ethane and ethylene.
The Task Force Members are:
• Greg Babe, President and CEO Of Bayer Corporation and Bayer Material Science LLC;
• Kevin DiGregorio, Ph.D., Executive Director, Chemical Alliance Zone West Virginia;
• Patrick Donovan, Director, Maritime and Intermodal Transportation, Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute;
• Don Garvin, Legislative Coordinator, West Virginia Environmental Council;
• W. Henry Harmon, President and CEO, Triana Energy;
• Michael John, President and CEO, Northeast Natural Energy;
• Jack Lafield, President and CEO, Caiman Energy;
• Steve Perdue, Government Affairs Manager, EQT;
• Scott Rotruck, Vice President of Corporate Development and State Government Relations, Chesapeake Energy;
• Steven H. White, Director, Affiliated Construction Trades;
• Kurt Dettinger, General Counsel for Governor Tomblin; and
• Keith Burdette, Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.
Click to listen to the Governor's announcement.
Click to read the Governor's statement.