Charleston WV Shows Community Support for Cracker Plant

Residents of Charleston, WV want large energy companies looking to locate an ethane cracker plant in the Marcellus region to know that residents of Charleston want it and welcome it with open arms. An online letter-writing campaign has been launched to show community support for the project, which is estimated to bring more than 12,000 new jobs and some $7 billion in economic activity to the region where it’s built.

The Charleston Area Alliance has launched an online letter-writing campaign designed to show community support for locating an ethane cracker in the region.

The Alliance is circulating an email that says, "If you would like to help send a message loud and clear that the Kanawha Valley is open for business and welcomes the possibility of a cracker, please add your name to an open letter in support of a cracker."

The letter is posted online at It is addressed "to those involved in site selection decisions for a Marcellus Shale ethane cracker."

State and local government officials have been trying to lure a multimillion-dollar ethane cracker to West Virginia for months.

The Alliance’s letter says, "Clendenin was the site of the world’s first cracker and our region has the people, the know-how and the assets to transform this vision into a reality."

In an email urging supporters to sign the letter, the Alliance said, "Our outreach has been underway for more than a year. As interested companies continue their decision making and due diligence processes, they weigh the level of community support for a cracker project."

Ethane is produced when processing plants remove the natural gas liquids found in "wet gas" from methane, which is natural gas. The ethane is then "cracked" to form ethylene, the basis of plastic.*

*Charleston Daily Mail (Nov 4, 2011) – City’s area alliance launches letter-writing campaign