Why is one no talking about this deal? Doesn’t fit their agenda?
This is great for West Virginia!
Bad news travels fast. Good news, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to travel at all.
Last weekend in Beijing, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.
If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.
And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.
“I am surprised I heard nothing about it on the national news, nor in my local paper and newscasts,” said Jerald Stephens, 67, a West Virginia native and union rep, who has been a keen observer of local politics for as long as he can remember.
The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.
“One would have suspected that the prospect of an investment this large — nearly three times the total annual budget for the department of energy — would have been front-page news,” said Paul Sracic, political-science professor at nearby Youngstown State University. NYPost
West Virginia China Deal
WVU’s release added that investments also will go toward infrastructure, including electricity from natural gas plants, chemical and polymer manufacturing and high-end chemicals. Much of the deal’s investment will focus on the development of an “Appalachian Storage and Trading Hub,” it said.
State officials, including Thrasher, have long touted the potential of a natural gas storage hub in the state. In a September speech at The Greenbrier resort, in White Sulphur Springs, Thrasher cited a study by the WVU Energy Institute that found three of five plausible hub locations identified are in West Virginia. Several energy companies contributed funding for the study.
Anderson said the investment will help the West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio region become “the second major petrochemical hub in the United States,” the first being in the Gulf Coast region. WVGazette
West Virginia Department of Commerce (WVDC) Secretary H. Wood Thrasher and Ling Wen, a representative for China Energy, signed the MOU during a U.S.-China Business Exchange meeting in Beijing early Thursday, as Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping looked on…
Under the 20-year agreement, China Energy potentially may develop power generation and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia, plus underground storage of natural gas liquids (NGL) and derivatives. WVDC said planning for the projects was already underway.
An MOU is not a formal contract but rather a nonbinding agreement outlining the terms and details of an understanding, including each parties’ responsibilities. An MOUoften is the first stage in reaching a formal contract.
“This is a great day for the State of West Virginia. I’ve been saying for the last couple months that the tides are turning in West Virginia and this is proof,” said Republican Gov. Jim Justice. He said the MOU could be “the largest investment in our state’s history.”
West Virginia’s elected officials in Washington gave bipartisan praise to the potential plans.
“Expanding Appalachia’s energy infrastructure, including developing a regional storage hub and market for NGLs, will have a transformative effect on our economy, our security, and our future,” said Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. “From driving growth and creating jobs to maximizing America’s energy potential, the benefits for West Virginia and the country from this new investment will be significant and long-lasting.”
The state’s Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he was “thrilled” that the MOU was signed. “I have always said that West Virginians are the hardest working people in the world,” he said. “I’m glad China Energy recognizes this and is working with us to create jobs and economic growth in our state.”NationalGasIntel