Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement extended

CHARLESTON — The Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement, which aims to enhance cooperation and job growth by developing shale gas in the Appalachian Basin, has been extended, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday.

The agreement includes Justice, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. In the agreement, the three states work together on issues in infrastructure systems, workforce development and marketing activities to enable the region to harness the potential of the Appalachian region's natural gas.

The coalition holds summits at which government, educational and industry leaders from throughout the region gather to share information and best practices.

“Instead of competing, our three states are working together to promote the region as a center for shale-related manufacturing,” said Justice. “Shale gas presents an opportunity to spur economic growth beyond the wellhead. We are working to attract investors and downstream partners.

"We are encouraging chemicals and plastics manufacturers to come here, stay here and grow here with us in the Appalachian region.”

The American Chemistry Council reports that an upsurge of investment in the U.S. chemical industry can be attributed in part to a plentiful supply of natural gas. This domestic supply gives chemical manufacturers a competitive edge, resulting in increased investment, industry growth and jobs.

The Memorandum of Understanding that created the Tri-State Shale Coalition was signed in 2015, and the agreement is renewed automatically each year. The new extension continues the agreement through Dec. 31, 2021.

This article was authored by Michael Lemley for WV News. Click here to read it on the website.