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Morgantown, W.Va. (July 7, 2017) – Highlighting the tremendous potential for creating more than 100,000 jobs in the region, the board of directors of the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) presented a resolution of support for the establishment, construction and operation of the Appalachian ethane storage hub to U.S. Senator’s Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito at an event with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Morgantown today.

“The opportunities presented by the development of the Appalachian ethane storage hub can transform economies throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York”, said Anne Blankenship, executive director of WVONGA.  “Our members, the producers and processors of natural gas and its by-products, recognize that the creation of the storage hub will generate unprecedented growth in our chemical and manufacturing sectors; leading to an economic revival not seen in the region in decades”.

Blankenship offered praise for Senators Manchin and Capito for their efforts to advocate for federal legislation for studying the projects feasibility, permitting the project in an expedited fashion and for identifying funding mechanisms to bring the project to life.

“Senator Manchin and Senator Capito understand the downstream potential afforded by creating the Appalachian storage hub and they are on the front lines in Congress advocating for its development”, Blankenship said. “We greatly appreciate their efforts, as should all West Virginians”.

Blankenship noted there are three pieces of legislation that have been introduced and supported by Senator Manchin and Senator Capito in Congress.  They include:

  • The Appalachian Ethane Storage Hub Study Act of 2017, which directs the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, to conduct a feasibility study of establishing a subterranean ethane storage and distribution hub in the Marcellus, Utica, and Rogersville shale plays in the United States;
  • The Capitalizing on American Storage Potential (CASP) Act, which makes a regional ethane storage hub eligible for the Department of Energy’s Title XVII loan guarantee program; and
  • The Appalachian Energy and Manufacturing Infrastructure Revitalization Act of 2017, which is designed to expedite federal permitting for a natural gas energy hub in the Appalachian region.

A recent report by the American Chemistry Council (Potential Economic Benefits of the Appalachian Petrochemical Industry) found that the creation of the storage hub could lead to:

  • $35.8 billion in capital investment resulting from project construction;
  • 100,818 jobs created and supported;
  • $28 billion in economic expansion;
  • $2.9 billion in annual tax revenues.

The report and underlying study found that the Appalachian region is an ideal location for the emergence of a second major petrochemical manufacturing hub in the United States, offering benefits such as: “proximity to abundant NGL resources from the Marcellus/Utica and Rogersville shale formations, proximity to manufacturing markets in the Midwest and along much of the East Coast, opportunity to strengthen the U.S. economy by providing employment and supply diversity, and opportunity to enable high-value ethane use to create U.S.-made products”.

“All these benefits are possible only because of the abundant natural gas resources found in West Virginia and the Appalachian region”, said Blankenship.  “The West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association welcomes a national spotlight on the world-class opportunities these resources can create and the benefits they can provide for the citizens and businesses of Appalachia”.

For additional information or commentary, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609.

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