On Nov. 9, China Energy Investment Corp., Ltd., and West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher signed a 20-year, $83.7 billion deal for the foreign company to invest in shale gas and chemical manufacturing in the state.
The signing was witnessed by President Donald Trump.
While many state officials have heralded the economic boost such an investment might provide, other state advocates have asked for more details, such as whether local workers will be hired and environmental protection agencies are up to the task of monitoring the expansion, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
“This is signaling more rapid industrial development … that I don’t think the state or the region is prepared for,” said Angie Rosser of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “What sounds like a quick fix for the economy and jobs has long-term implications written all over it that we are not prepared to handle. It feels like something spinning out of control.” — Elizabeth E. Payne