WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told state business leaders Wednesday he was continuing to work to bring an ethane cracker plant to the state, saying he believes the state still has a good chance to attract one.
"We are working every day to make that happen, and I am convinced it will happen," Tomblin said.
Tomblin was the keynote speaker during the opening day of the state Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Summit, taking place Wednesday through Friday at The Greenbrier.
Tomblin said the development of the natural gas industry, including gas produced from the Marcellus and Utica shales, along with the processing of their associated liquids like ethane and propane, still has "enormous potential" for the state.
"I believe the abundance of these resources gives us not only a low-cost energy source, but it gives us an opportunity to re-invigorate manufacturing in our state," he said. "We are working hard to develop the infrastructure that will support an entire industry for generations to come."
Tomblin said the state has been a leader in enacting "reasonable and responsible" rules designed to spur growth in the industry, but he tempered that remark with a word of caution for the industry.
He said if the state is willing to partner with the industry to extract natural gas, the industry must be willing to partner with the state to develop jobs within West Virginia's borders.
"We are not content to simply allow the resources of this state to be piped somewhere else to create manufacturing jobs," Tomblin said.