Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Resilience Is Key for Areas Future ; Shale Gas Brings Many Opportunities for Economic Growth and Prosperity

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Resilience Is Key for Areas Future ; Shale Gas Brings Many Opportunities for Economic Growth and Prosperity

Article excerpt

When we think about our regions economic development, we think about oil and gas, innovation and petrochemical manufacturing as the cornerstones of this regions economic future. But maybe we should be thinking about something a little bit more personal. And thats our own resilience.

The shale gas revolution has a tremendous opportunity, but one that some believe has begun to stagnate. Many citizens have begun to tire from the consistent drumbeat of this topic. But is it so stale? Is that drumbeat, and this article, simply rhetoric? I believe its not.

I firmly believe we are on the cutting edge of this opportunity. But we must act now. Because its not just about us, its about our entire nations economy and security. It is about our strategic future, not just about today.

For years, it seems weve focused so hard on ethane crackers. And weve yet to see this opportunity become a reality. This delay is part of our new reality, now part of our history. But we absolutely must show resilience, and we need to continue to push and fight for this shale opportunity.

We need to revisit the entirety of the value chain. Lets engage the oil and gas production community the midstream.

We must not lose sight of the opportunity for value-creating manufacturing based within the region on these efforts upstream. Because maybe part of what weve been missing is that we still have not created the linkage across the entirety of the value chain.

The raw materials available to us in the Marcellus Shale alone have a reported estimated value in excess of $2 trillion, of which some experts report 15 percent is estimated to be natural gas liquids that are extensively used in the petrochemical industry.

The job creation potential is tremendous, and in the petrochemical industry, according to the American Chemistry Council, an additional five jobs are created in surrounding communities for each of its own manufacturing jobs. We may well be talking about adding value to a base of about $300 billion in raw materials.

Further, the geographic location of the regional shales position this opportunity for economic growth, prosperity and security away from the threat of major natural disasters. …

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