PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Without much fanfare, momentum continues to build toward that ethane cracker plant planned for Wood County.

The governor’s office made an announcement late Friday that Texas-based Range Resources has agreed to supply ethane for the project.

“This announcement marks another major step forward toward the development of the Ascent cracker complex,” Gov. Tomblin said in a prepared statement. “That will mean thousands of construction jobs at Ascent itself; and potentially thousands more jobs turning Ascent’s polyethylene into products for consumers and businesses worldwide. I salute Range Resources and Ascent for their commitment to this transformative project.”

State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette also praised the development.

“The administration has worked hard to convince industry of the importance of committing some of the resources extracted from underneath our state to manufacturing projects like Ascent,” Burdette said. “The leadership of Range Resources is important to that effort. The announcement means West Virginia natural gas will stay here and create West Virginia jobs. We’re well on our way to making our abundance of shale gas the foundation for decades of prosperity in our state.”

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  • Marion

    I'm not a big fan of out of state workers either . But I had to change my mind lately when I realized that I myself use to be one of those people. Do you all remember back in the 80s when we all watched family members and friends packing up to move south for work ?! I was one of them. The North Carolina residents didn't like us much movin in on there work . I found my way home. There are plenty of good paying jobs in our state now more than ever.

  • Aaron

    The question is, will we give up more than we receive, particularly given that US production is currently at ~50% and there are 6 other planned frackers.

  • Ritchie county guy

    It's win win for pesimists if it doesn't happen they finally look intelligent it doesn't happen no one cares what they say. Me I'm looking forward to see it happen.

  • Scott

    Very good news. Really looks like this is going to happen. I hope we're also doing to some work to bring in the manufacturers or at least entice them to locate in and around Wood County for easy access to the product.That's where the real payoff will be.

  • ViennaGuy

    Fantastic! Another small piece falls into place. Let's keep the momentum rolling!

  • Tom

    We'll see.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      I'm with you, Tom.

      When the mid-Ohio Valley is covered from end to end with Texas and Oklahoma license plates and West Virginians are being hired at newly constructed convenient stores--only then will I believe in Earl's Phantom Fracker.

      Count me among the pessimists.

      • ViennaGuy


        If the cracker plant does become reality, will you post a message on here stating that the optimists were right and you were wrong?

        • Mason County Contrarian

          Certainly. And I will be the first.

          I have no agenda nor vendetta. I have simply lived long enough to witness the people of this state being given grandiose pronouncements of hope by hack, self-aggrandizing politicians.

          I hope this truly is the case and we can stop the hemorrhaging that the lack of future opportunity for our children has become.

          Kroger's doesn't accept hope, only money.

          • Mason County Contrarian

            I don't know that we can lay this at the feet of the POTUS, but Tom those out-of-state plates extend all the way around the state. Route 50 between Parkersburg and Clarksburg should have a sign at its I-77 exit: "Entering Little Texas". Apologists for bringing in Texan and Okie workers are quick to say "Well, they pay taxes here". Road apples. I would rather see our own West Virginians put to work who live and have a vested interest here and will, in turn, keep the vast majority of their salaries here rather than seeing it go out-of-state.

          • Tom

            All one has to do is go to New Martinsville and points north, or along Ohio Rt. 7 and look at all the out-of-state plates and slummy campgrounds. I'm all for industry here, but I don't count chickens until they hatch. Especially with a jerkwater POTUS who is trying to kill West Virginia.

    • Grant

      Glass half empty guy?

      A lot of money, work, and steps already taken. This project is coming!

      • Tom

        I'd really prefer a beer half full, bought me and not a welfare check. :)

        • Gil

          Thank God they don't plan to build it in Kanawha County. Kent Carper would do everything in his power to run them out of town just like he's done to Bayer.