An economic report released yesterday by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows that the Appalachian region could become a second center of U.S. petrochemical and plastic resin manufacturing, similar to the Gulf Coast. ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley presented the findings at a Capitol Hill press event with lawmakers including Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.). “The Appalachian region has distinct benefits that could make it a major petrochemical and plastic resin-producing zone,” Dooley said. “Proximity to a world-class supply of raw materials from the Marcellus/Utica and Rogersville shale formations and to the manufacturing markets of the Midwest and East Coast has already led several companies to announce investment projects, and there is potential for a great deal more.” What will it take to turn our region into another Gulf Coast petchem powerhouse? According to the report, an NGL (natural gas liquids, i.e. ethane) storage hub. You may recall Sens. Capito and Manchin recently introduced a bill to study an Appalachian NGL storage hub (see WV/OH Senators Intro Bill to Study Appalachian Ethane Storage Hub). The study, titled “The Potential Economic Benefits of an Appalachian Petrochemical Industry” (full copy below), says by 2025, the four-state region could see 100,000 permanent new jobs, including 25,700 new chemical and plastic products manufacturing jobs, 43,000 jobs in supplier industries and 32,000 ‘payroll-induced’ jobs in communities where workers spend their wages (restaurants, hotels, etc.). The new investment could also lead to $2.9 billion in new federal, state and local tax revenue annually. It’s huge! There’s a lot riding on an ethane storage hub, which was the point of the report and the political dog and pony show yesterday in Washington, D.C….