WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today met with Wood County community leaders who recently traveled to Minot, North Dakota to learn about preparing for a surge in population and economic activity caused by the natural gas boom.  Senator Capito issued the following statement following today’s meeting:

“The natural gas boom is turning small communities around the country into hotbeds of economic growth and activity. I am excited that Wood County and the Mid-Ohio Valley may soon experience similar growth following the expected construction of the ethane cracker plant.

“The delegation that traveled to Minot, North Dakota gained valuable insights about how to plan for a substantial boost in activity. Step one is investing in infrastructure to accommodate both population growth and downstream manufacturing opportunities. We must begin preparing now in order to seize the opportunities presented by our vast natural gas resources.”

Minot experienced significant population growth in recent years due to fracking and the natural gas industry. West Virginia officials are preparing for similar growth following the anticipated construction of an ethane cracker plant in Wood County and the expected increase of shale-driven manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the next several decades.