Published Thu, Jan 26, 2012 4:52 am Dateline
West Virginnia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is armed with a major tax break as he promotes West Virginia as the best site for a new multibillion-dollar chemical plant.
Tomblin heads to Houston on Thursday to meet with potential investors who want to build a cracker plant in the region.
These facilities convert or crack the molecules in a byproduct from Marcellus shale natural gas into a widely used chemical compound.
The industry estimates a West Virginia cracker would create more than 12,000 permanent jobs.
Tomblin's trip comes one day after the Legislature passed his requested tax break proposal. It would slash a cracker's property taxes for 25 years. A company would have to invest at least $2 billion to gain the tax break.
Ohio and Pennsylvania are also competing for a cracker.