Shale Boom Foundation on Which WV Manufacturing Will be Built

Brooks McCabe

Brooks McCabe is a former West Virginia state senator and the a current WV Public Service Commissioner. In a recent editorial, McCabe made some pretty bold, even startling, claims. He said that the Marcellus/Utica shale in the state is the “foundation for West Virginia’s new manufacturing economy.” That is, shale drilling is just the tip of the iceberg for WV, economically speaking. McCabe went on to say this: “This [shale] economy has the potential to lift the state out from under a cloud of mediocrity and self-doubt to perhaps the brightest future the state has ever known.” Holy cow! That’s some high praise for the power of shale gas and oil! The key is, of course, in the downstream–the petrochemical sector. In a word, plastics. You do know that plastics come from hydrocarbons (oil and gas), right? That modern-day existence would not be possible apart from oil and gas. That we would still be living in the Stone Ages were it not for fossil fuels. What will it take for WV to take full advantage of this opportunity? McCabe has some thoughts on that…

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