Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin had good news for participants in the state Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Summit at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.
West Virginia may still attract a company to build an ethane cracker, which turns the natural gas from Marcellus shale and other sources into usable raw material for manufacturing plastics.
"We are working every day to make that happen, and I am convinced it will happen," Tomblin said.
That's encouraging, but just as a wise investor diversifies his portfolio, a state should too.
Similar incentives that the Tomblin administration has offered chemical companies in the hopes of landing such a multibillion-dollar project should be considered for all businesses.
For example, Tomblin offered Royal Dutch Shell to slash its property tax on investments to only 5 percent of their value for 25 years, a deal worth $25 million in the first year alone.
Why not slash such taxes for every new company and the existing businesses as well? Why have this tax at all, especially when competing states do not?
An ethane cracker would be nice. So would new chemical plants that the cracker would supply. So would the companies that would supply parts for the chemical plants and so forth.
Let's not pick and choose. West Virginia needs to provide all businesses with a better tax structure, along with competitive rates that encourage job growth and ultimately bring in more revenue to the state.