Thursday, January 12, 2012

Steubenville Cracker

And I don't mean hilljack. The word out of Youngstown is that Southeastern Ohio will land the prized Shell oil cracker plant:

That’s why experts have pegged Southeast Ohio or Southwest Pennsylvania — locations with direct access to a prime water port, the Ohio River — for Shell’s expansion.

The lack of a port nixed the Mahoning Valley from consideration. As for SW PA, I doubt the loss matters much. I've seen some credible speculation that the plant will end up in Steubenville. The benefits of such a location will cross state borders. National Public Radio explains:

Scoring the cracker would be a coup for any governor, especially when jobs are such a hot political issue. Keith Burdette, commerce secretary for the state of West Virginia, says in the end the ethane cracker will provide jobs throughout Appalachia.

"There'll be a lot of hooping and hollering regardless of where it's picked, whether it's in West Virginia or Pennsylvania or Ohio. We want it built here," he says. "The truth of the matter is the sites [are] just so closely grouped together that the impact across state lines will be significant."

Ohio Governor John Kasich will get to crow about winning the plant. That should tell you a lot about state economic development. It's all about the ribbon cutting. I'm glad to have Ohio subsidizing Pennsylvania jobs. Kasich is still a Pittsburgh boy at heart.

1 comment:

BrianTH said...

Steubenville would definitely count as the Pittsburgh region.