Chinese plan is great news
West Virginians have had their hopes raised so many times, then seen them dashed, that some may still have their guards up over the announcement Thursday that China will invest $83.7 billion in the state.
Slice it anyway you want, however. Put any spin you desire on it. Come up with all the cynicism you can.
Still, the announcement is the best news the Mountain State has received in decades.
Chinese officials plan to be part of the shale gas and chemical manufacturing revolution that already has begun in the area.
It is known that the area probably will enjoy benefits from the Chinese plan soon. Two gas-fired power plants, one in Brooke County and the other in Harrison County, appear to be on Beijing’s agenda. That $1.3 billion investment could begin in as little as six months.
From there, the sky may be the limit. There are all sorts of possibilities — virtually all of them very good. Ethane storage hubs and cracker plants, along with associated chemical manufacturing facilities, are potential gains.
Thursday’s announcement was made in Beijing, as part of President Donald Trump’s visit to China. Investment planned for the state is included in a $250 billion package.
The inside details of how West Virginia landed such an enormous share of that total have yet to be released. There are clues, however.
One of them is that more than a year ago, Trump promised Mountain State residents he would not forget them. Clearly, he did not.
Gov. Jim Justice, who has a personal relationship with Trump, deserves credit.
State Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher led a team that made the details work for Chinese officials.
West Virginia University played an important role.
So did all West Virginians. Rest assured that Chinese officials would not be plowing that much money into the state without believing a hard-working, capable, eager workforce is available.
Thursday was a big, big day for the Mountain State. The announcement came at a good time, too.
On Thanksgiving Day, residents will have much for which to be grateful.