This month, the City of New Martinsville passed an ordinance that prohibits any oil and gas activity within the city. They have called it a nuisance to the public’s health, safety, and general welfare. But Wetzel County is part of a joint resolution with the other northern panhandle counties here in West Virginia to push for an ethane cracker.
Why would a multinational or global company bring billions of dollars, that’s right—billions, into our region if we aren’t even willing to show support for it by supplying the needed resource for the facility?
Ethane, the main component needed for a cracker (to transform ethane into ethylene—the base ingredient for hundreds of manufacturing and industrial materials) comes from wet gas, which is in abundance from the Marcellus Shale gas in our area.
I’m furious at the passing of this ordinance; but even more than that, I’m ashamed of one of our local cities prohibiting drilling, and thereby consciously choosing to bypass such a tremendous opportunity that has the potential to rejuvenate our entire area.
If we want the benefits that come from a facility such as a cracker, like jobs, population growth, taxes, and general economic revitalization, we need to allow for the gas to be drilled in the first place.
David E. Drennon