Last Thursday, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin flew to Houston to meet with officials of a company considering construction of a "cracker" plant in West Virginia. With him, Tomblin took a copy of a bill passed by the Legislature to provide important tax incentives for such a facility.
That's the kind of trip Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, another state seeking the cracker, hasn't been able to make. His state hasn't yet approved new incentives for a cracker.
Top business executives understand the need for flexibility, cooperation and decisive action if they are to be successful. In the battle to lure a cracker plant, West Virginia wins hands-down in all three areas.
Just days after receiving the tax incentive bill, Mountain State lawmakers approved it by big margins - unanimously in the state Senate. Again, Pennsylvania is still working on it. Decisiveness, cooperation and flexibility? Look no further than the Mountain State.
Another demonstration of qualities important in business success occurred last month, when West Virginia legislators approved a comprehensive package of updated regulations for gas and oil drilling. Pennsylvania and Ohio, the third state in the running for a cracker, are still working on modernized rules.
West Virginia has excellent sites for cracker plants, which extract valuable chemicals from natural gas. So, perhaps, do Ohio and Pennsylvania. We have eager, capable work forces available. Our good friends and neighbors in Ohio and Pennsylvania can say that, too.
But in qualities important now - and in the future - for industry, West Virginia stands out.
We've already proven that. We'd like the opportunity to continue doing so for many years to come.
Oh, and by the way, we haven't forgotten another key quality that appeals to business leaders: careful management of finances. Here in West Virginia, our government is paying down debts, not building up new ones that may require emergency tax increases in the future.
Ours is a wonderful state in which to live, raise children - and do business. So, to business leaders making decisions on where to locate cracker plants, we have just this to say: Come on home - to West Virginia.