Ohio Oil and Gas Association calls recent economists take on potential cracker plant biased, anti-oil and gas agenda

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Proponents for the Belmont County development responded to the survey saying on the contrary...

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — Economists from around the region sent a warning call to Tri-State leaders about the potential development of an Ethane Cracker Plant at Dilles Bottom; coining the industry a ‘non-starter’. 

Since then, some proponents for the Belmont County development responded saying this survey has a biased agenda starting with funding.   

A recent survey signed by multiple economists from regional colleges and universities is said to be backed by out of state anti-oil and gas foundations. With the intent, Mike Chadsey says, to ‘kill jobs’. 

The argument in the letter is that we, they should be doing wind or solar instead of this project. I would submit to you, how about we do both?  

Mike Chadsey, Director of PR for Ohio Oil and Gas Association

Economists say the petrochemical market is already claimed by the gulf coast with a first-mover advantage… 

It’s going to be very, very hard for anywhere else to come organically out of the ground and compete with that.

Mark Partridge, PhD, Professor of AED Economics at The Ohio State University

But, insiders say that seeming disadvantage is what makes Dilles Bottom so opportune. 

Right now what we do is put all our ethane into a pipe line, ship it down to the gulf coast where they crack it and put the plastic pellets back onto a train car where they ship it back up to the northeast where we actually injection mold it and other things with it. How about we cutout the middle man?

Mike Chadsey, Director of PR for Ohio Oil and Gas Association

Other economists say after initial construction, the plant won’t bring the hundreds of Ohio Valley jobs leaders are banking on.  

Yes, we’ll have jobs for maybe five years, but after that it’s going to disappear. 

Wilfrid W. Csaplar Jr., PhD, Professor of Economics at Bethany College

Chemical engineers, electrical engineers; those are high-paying jobs. So, the idea is when this facility gets up and running, we’re going to bring those folks here to the mid-Ohio Valley, whether they come from PA, Ohio, West Virginia, it doesn’t matter. They’re all going to be working in this area and needing supplies from this area.

Mike Chadsey, Director of PR for Ohio Oil and Gas Association

While the potential 10-billion-dollar project has all its EPA permits, others say it’s time to think forward; investing, instead, in renewables. Which seems to be the one thing all agree on. 

So, let’s build wind turbines up in Lake Erie as been purposed, solar projects in the Dayton area, and petrochemical plants in eastern Ohio. Let’s do all of the above. Let’s diversify our economy, let’s diversify our energy portfolio, and grow our state. That’s a good thing. 

Mike Chadsey, Director of PR for Ohio Oil and Gas Association

And maybe one side not talked about in this controversial debate is of those benefiting by association. 

These petrochemical facilities, whether you get one or a ton, are going to require a feed stock, which is an incentive for land owners because then they have more opportunity to lease their minerals for development. Which is another economic boom to those families.

Mike Chadsey, Director of PR for Ohio Oil and Gas Association

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