Expect A Fake Cracker Announcement From Tomblin

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This website looks fake.

 

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is about to tell you that picture you see above means jobs. Needing a distraction from his part in wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in RouterGate, Tomblin will probably try and tell us that a company who appears to have built a website for less than $20 is the future of jobs in the Northern Panhandle.

Meet a Texas shell company called Appalachian Resins. They swear they are raising $500 million to build some sort of ethane cracker to produce polyethylene at an undisclosed site south of Wheeling. WWW.APPRESINS.COM

Last July, they first claimed to be building a Northern Panhandle cracker in a petrochemical industry publication. Until late last year, they didn’t exist. Their website was purchased on December 12th. They have no filing of any kind of business with the State of West Virginia or our very good friend Natalie Tennant.

Now, in new articles, they say they are  building a non “world-scale” cracker plant.

They claim to be “developing an integrated ethylene and polyethylene production facility…..The proposed facility will produce 508 million pounds per year of ethylene and 500 million pounds of polyethylene (per year).

While Appalachian Resins is trying to raise money on the website above, they very clearly state specific numbers for production. If true, they would purchase and use nearly $60 million a year in locally produced ethane as a raw material.

They even purport to create 125 jobs with this new $500,000,000 plant.

$500,000,000 for a company that barely has a website and didn’t exist a year ago? Nothing fishy about that.

Tomblin himself has been winking at local media of late when asked if a cracker plant will ever come to West Virginia. This isn’t even a ‘cracker’ in the sense that was described last year. It’s a production line that seeks to turn ethane exclusively into polyethylene soft plastics like trash bags (LDPE) or harder things like milk jugs (HDPE).

The principals of this company all have ties to a minor petroleum refining firm in Texas, or were once employed by the long-gone Getty Oil and Texaco.

But there is no explanation as to how or why they would be able to build this boutique-sized cracker plant in a fiscally prudent way.

Great. Maybe this has a chance of happening. But we doubt it.

Most companies trying to raise billions or even millions of dollars probably won’t be taken seriously with a MySpace or Geocities website like this. Feels like an episode of Catfish. Even Manti T’eo wouldn’t be fooled by this.

Tomblin has been smarting since he failed to attract the Royal Dutch Shell cracker last spring to West Virginia.

As a part of the campaign, he cut every ribbon and made every promise he could about creating jobs. Some of the jobs he celebrated last summer are already gone, like at Hino Motors in Williamstown.

Other times, Tomblin has made sure to spend our tax dollars and state pension funds backing other phantom companies. Millions of dollars to such money bonfires as the insolvent  Protea Biosciences or the still un-built coal-to-liquids plant slated for Mingo County..

He and the state have been strung along for nearly three years loaning and giving money to something called Aither Chemicals. That ‘company’ proposed a scale-able ethane cracker for the Kanawha Valley and seems no closer to breaking ground on anything than they were in 2010.

Lots of state money, no visible results. Without even holding patents until late in 2012, state money was thrown into the black box of Aither with no idea what was being purchased.

Too many times in West Virginia, Governors cut ribbons and take pictures in front of projects that never happen. Our guess is that this is just another one of those times.