WV Gov Justice Says China Investment Specifics are “Confidential”

We are STILL shaking our head in disbelief at the news from early November that China has signed a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) to invest $83.7 billion (with a “b”) in a single U.S. state–West Virginia (see China Agrees to Invest Amazing $83.7 BILLION in WV Shale, Petchem). Since the signing ceremony in China, part of President Trump’s Asian trade mission, we have not had many specifics about where, when and how that money will get spent in the Mountain State. We have read rumors that a pair of natural gas-fired electric plants may be among the first projects, and that some of those billions may help fund a natural gas liquids (ethane) storage hub, and maybe even a cracker plant (see More on that Massive $83.7B Chinese Investment in WV Shale/Petchem). But since that time, very few details have been shared. During a press conference yesterday WV Gov. Jim Justice talked about the deal. Perhaps responding to those who still disbelieve, Justice said the Chinese are “deathly serious” about the deal and investing in WV. He even said they may invest more than the promised $83.7 billion! Justice also said he can’t reveal details about where/when/how the money will get invested because of a “confidentiality agreement,” which we find rather odd. We understand not tipping your hand too early with specifics, but this situation of a virtual information blackout about where a single penny of the money will get spent smacks of China’s well-earned reputation for secrecy. It’s unfortunate we don’t know more about the deal and what will get funded. It leads some to maintain a healthy skepticism that the promised funds will indeed get invested in WV…

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