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Governor Justice extends Tri-State Shale Coalition to develop regional natural gas industry


Cooperative agreement with Ohio, Pennsylvania, uses shared shale gas resources to increase investments and jobs in Appalachian Basin

For Release: March 21, 2018
Media Contact: Samantha Smith, 304-957-9364, Samantha.Smith@wv.gov

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Governor Jim Justice announced the extension of the Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement with Ohio Governor John Kasich and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. The goal of the Tri-State agreement is to enhance regional cooperation and job growth through developing shale gas in the Appalachian Basin.
 
“Instead of competing, our three states are working together to promote the region as a center for shale-related manufacturing,” said Governor Justice. “Shale gas presents an opportunity to spur economic growth beyond the wellhead. We are working to attract investors and downstream partners. We are encouraging chemicals and plastics manufacturers to come here, stay here and grow here with us in the Appalachian region.”
 
The Appalachians have long been recognized as a source for valuable resources such as natural gas. The states host several chemical feedstock and plastics manufacturing businesses. The Tri-State Coalition participants intend to increase the region’s share of downstream-related business investments and the high-paying careers associated with them.
 
Under the agreement, the states work together on issues in infrastructure systems, workforce development and marketing activities to better enable the region to harness the potential of Appalachian gas and natural gas liquids. 
 
The agreement identifies key areas in which the states cooperate to grow the natural gas industry, including workforce development, infrastructure and research.
 
During annual Tri-State Shale summits, the government, educational and industry leaders from across the region come together to share information and best practices.
 
A strong upsurge of investment in the U.S. chemical industry can be attributed at least in part to the plentiful supply of natural gas, reports the American Chemistry Council. The domestic supply gives U.S. chemical manufacturers a competitive edge, resulting in increased investment, industry growth and jobs. As of December 2017, the council reports, 317 projects cumulatively valued at $185 billion in capital investment have been announced.
 
The Memorandum of Understanding creating the Tri-State Shale Coalition was signed in 2015. The cooperative agreement renewed automatically each year. The new signatures continue the regional cooperation agreement through Dec. 31, 2021.
 
Representatives from public-private, economic development and philanthropic organizations such as Vision Shared of West Virginia, TeamNEO of Ohio, The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Regional Pittsburgh Alliance of Pennsylvania help support and guide the coalition’s efforts.
 
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