For generations, West Virginia’s economic lifeblood has been dependent upon the energy sector. The coal industry is declining primarily due to challenging environmental policies and the push for cleaner burning fossil fuels. Many believe coal output will never return to the previous production numbers from the mid-2000s. A recent Dominion Post article cited the following predictions, “The WVU Business School’s outlook for coal was bleak. Its new 2016 outlook is bleaker. In 2015, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) projected a short-term decline from 104 million tons to 98 million tons. The 2016 report saw just 95 million tons produced in 2015 and looks for a total of 68 million tons produced this year – 30 million tons (30.6 percent) below the previous prediction.” The reduction in production output leads to job cuts, which ultimately has a trickle-down effect throughout our economy.
The outlook is not all doom and gloom. There is a silver lining in WV buried deep beneath the coal seams our hard-working residents have mined for generations. New fracking technology has allowed oil and gas producers to tap into an immense resource. The Marcellus and Utica Shales constitutes some of the largest gas reserves in the United States. In WV, many began hearing about “Marcellus” in 2008-2009. Marcellus-related jobs, plus the downstream (gasoline, oils, fuels, plastics, lubricants, etc.) and midstream (transport, pipeline, trucking, etc.), and lifestyle service provider (hotels, restaurants, retailers, etc.) industries result in the creation of thousands of jobs. Shell also recently committed to building a $4-7 billion cracker plant in Beaver County, PA is also more great news. It anticipates bringing 6,000 temporary construction jobs (for 2-3 years) plus 600 permanent jobs. Is there more good news? Over the next several years, gas pipeline projects will come online and allow producers to distribute the driller gas/oil to large markets along the east coast and mid-west. All of this creates a positive outlook for our beloved state…and region.
Black Diamond Realty is excited to broadcast additional positive news: Industrial demand is already increasing, as evidenced by an increase in inquiries by end users. One recent inquiry disclosed a company pursuing 50,000 square feet of industrial space and 5 acres of yard. They will bring 100 jobs out of the gate with a 1-2 year ramp up period resulting in 200-250 jobs. Companies who lease/buy industrial buildings in the region bring jobs and economic benefits. Many of these jobs supply hard-working, West Virginia families with high-paying jobs and strong benefits. Black Diamond Realty is pleased to introduce you to a new listing that provides many of the bells and whistles heavy manufacturers and Marcellus/Utica Shale (oil and gas) service providers are seeking. Check out the following link for more information.