Cracker Not a ‘Con’

Editor, News-Register:

In a recent article discussing the Shell cracker plant, I was surprised to see how the facility’s main purpose — separating ethane, a component from cleaner-burning natural gas, into the building blocks of plastic — derided by extreme activists as a so-called “con.”

More concerning is the belief from a self-identified plastics expert that we have a moral imperative to cease producing plastic, even though plastic is one of the critical materials being used to help our country become more environmentally sustainable.

Lost in the debate of oil and natural gas versus renewables is how the former two help the latter.

Take electric cars, all of which require plastics in place of traditional metals to decrease the weight of the vehicle. These plastics, from polyurethane to ABS, are made by refining fossil fuels. Refined products help make electric vehicles more affordable while increasing the range they can be driven. For hybrid cars, it allows for increasingly better mileage, reducing the amount of fuel needed.

Quite simply, the construction of advanced manufacturing facilities won’t just create economic opportunities. They will also help sustain and strengthen our commitment to improving our environment and the lives of countless families and businesses across the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Chris Ventura

West Virginia Director

Consumer Energy Alliance

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