Deliberations are underway in Beaver County as officials discuss opening a petrochemical plant in the region. After a visit to the gulf coast and other shale-rich regions in the south, Allegheny Front reporter Reid Frazier returns to Pittsburgh to disclose his findings about ethane, crude oil and natural gas. In Beaver County, the debate hovers between job creation and environmental concerns.
Frazier says that the policymakers are “very cognizant that chemicals are inherently dangerous…but they also realize that this is their bread and butter, this is what makes the region’s economy go.”
The state anticipates 17,000 jobs from the petrochemical plant, but environmental groups are weary of additional air pollution and emissions the plant would produce.
Ideally, the intermediary ethane cracker plant would be the central industry Frazier explains. And smaller polyethylene plants that produce actual market materials would begin to spring up around the first plant. In addition to Beaver County, six plans are in the works for similar plants in Texas and Louisiana.
For more coverage from Reid Frazier on the Petrochemical Industry Expansion in Western PA visit.