'Great day': State leaders hail investment

CHARLESTON - West Virginia lawmakers and officials agreed Thursday that an agreement with China Energy Investment Corp. Ltd. for the company to invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing in West Virginia will be an economic boon the likes of which the state has never before seen.

"This is a great day for the state of West Virginia," said West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in a news release. "I've been saying for the last couple months that the tides are turning in West Virginia, and this is proof. Today is another sign as we joined with my good friend President (Donald) Trump to announce the largest investment in our state's history."

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said expanding Appalachia's energy infrastructure, including developing a regional storage hub and market for natural gas liquids, will transform the state's economy.

"From driving growth and creating jobs to maximizing America's energy potential, the benefits for West Virginia and the country from this new investment will be significant and long-lasting," Capito said in a news release.

"This also will help revitalize our state's downstream industries, such as chemical manufacturing, which is dependent on our industry for feedstock materials," said Marc Monteleone, president of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia. "Our natural resources are of great value, and this is going to significantly impact West Virginia's energy future as well as the national and global energy outlook."

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., thanked Capito, Justice and U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., for their leadership in making the deal happen.

"West Virginia's energy resources are second to none, and this announcement is wonderful news for our state. I've always said that an energy economy is a jobs economy, and we now have a president who is embracing West Virginia's energy and jobs potential. This shows what we can do when we put our resources to work for us," Jenkins said.

Source: The Independent Herald