Economy

Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

A West Virginia official says Procter & Gamble's planned factory in Berkeley County will be bigger than originally envisioned.

The maker of Tide detergent and Charmin bathroom tissue announced in February that the $500 million plant in the Tabler Station Business Park near Martinsburg would employ 700 workers when it opens in 2017.

Equal Pay Day fell this year on April 14. It’s the day that women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from last year, according to national rates. Of course, if it were a state holiday, we would have to celebrate in May or June. Women in West Virginia face some of the largest gender wage gaps in the country.

The WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development hosted their 4th annual National Energy Conference last week in Morgantown. The day-long conference examined issues affecting water in energy production. 


Derek Jensen / wikimedia Commons / user: Tysto

  Procter & Gamble plans to construct its new manufacturing plant in Berkeley County in two phases.

The majority of construction will be completed in the first phase. Construction is expected to begin in October.

The Journal reports that Procter & Gamble outlined the project in site and development plans filed with the Berkeley County Planning Department.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Baseball is finally being played at the Monongalia County Ballpark. 

 

Three years in the making, the new stadium opened Friday, April 10. A capacity crowd of more than 2,500 people watched the West Virginia Mountaineers beat the Butler Bulldogs, 6-5, in 13 innings.

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

  American Electric Power is preparing to close six coal-fired power plants in four states by the end of May.

The company recently gave WARN notices to workers at the Philip Sporn, Kammer and Kanawha Valley plants in West Virginia, the Muskingum River Plant in Ohio, the Tanners Creek Plant in Indiana and the Glen Lyn Plant in Virginia. The closures will affect more than 250 workers.

EcoCAR.org

Many college seniors have to worry about whether they’re going find a job after they turn their tassel. But some students in a car-building competition are being recruited by the auto industry even before they graduate.

http://www.specialmetals.com/

The parent company of the Special Metals alloy plant in Huntington is laying off about 100 workers.

Portland, Oregon-based Precision Castparts Corp. didn't specify in a statement whether the layoffs would be temporary or permanent.

Glynis Board / WVPB

When natural gas drillers use extreme pressures to drill and crack rocks thousands of feet underground - when they frack for natural gas, for example - sometimes nearby conventional gas wells will suddenly see production double, or triple. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / via U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Bayer CropScience says it plans to sell its Institute Industrial Park to Union Carbide. But the company will continue to operate its thiodicarb unit at the site as a tenant.

Terms of the transaction announced Monday weren't disclosed.

Bayer says in a statement to media outlets that the plant's operations, including utilities and security, will be transferred to Union Carbide in a phased turnover. Union Carbide is expected to assume full operation of the site by mid-2016.

Local Food Local Places working group of representatives from federal, regional, state, and local organizations tour Wheeling.
Glynis Board / WVPB

Momentum continues to mount behind local food and local economic development efforts in the Northern panhandle. Wheeling was one of the top picks in a national Local Foods, Local Places Competition. As a result, local organizations are receiving technical assistance from multiple state and federal agencies to help capitalize on the growing demand for local foods.  Meetings with federal agency representatives began last week.


West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, held a field hearing this week in Beckley, regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. The carbon pollution standards are the first of their kind and aim is to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent nationwide by reducing carbon pollution from power plants. Senator Capito held a hearing in southern West Virginia where tightening regulations might be felt most acutely.


Patriot Coal

  Patriot Coal is temporarily idling two mines at a southern West Virginia coal mining complex.

On Monday, the St. Louis-based company announced the changes at its Paint Creek Complex near Cabin Creek.

The company says it's idling the Samples surface mine and Winchester underground mine because of high coal inventory levels. Patriot attributes the high levels to the CSX railroad service disruption last month and diminished demand for coal.

www.mine-engineer.com

Representatives of the coal and gas industry as well as solar are expected to speak at a public forum in Martinsburg next week. The forum is about energy and how it relates to West Virginia’s economy.

West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey / West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public hearing in Charleston to discuss a new air quality permit for natural gas facilities in the state. Some wish the DEP would use the permit writing process to incorporate suggestions from scientists who have studied air around gas facilities.


Courtesy Photo Tudor's Biscuit World

One may not expect that eating breakfast could be considered political activism. Yet, on Wednesday morning at Tudor’s Biscuit World on the west side of Charleston, the Democratic Party asked residents of the area to come out in support of a struggling West Virginia food bank.

The event, raising money for the Mountaineer Food Bank, came just one day after another fundraiser was canceled by the conservative non-profit  Go West Virginia Inc.  The Associated Press obtained an invitation to the Go West Virginia event, which called for a $100,000 donation for a Tuesday morning breakfast at the Charleston Courtyard Marriott. The invitation said donors would not publicly be disclosed.

Catherine Moore

Early one morning this past January, two Clay County school busses pulled up at the state capitol complex in Charleston. Inside were members of the group “What’s Next, Clay County?”, one of twenty-five communities across the state that is organizing to strengthen their local economy as a part of the “What’s Next, WV?” initiative. 

Over seventy people attended their first community meeting last fall—not a small feat in a community of their size. They chose five areas to focus their work: youth and education; infrastructure; small business; drugs; and cleaning up trash and dilapidated properties.

Since then, they realized they would need outside help to accomplish all they have set out to do, so they set off for a day at the capitol. This is a story about a small, rural community fighting for a brighter economic future for their families and neighbors. 

    

U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey says more data and research are necessary to best understand the potential risks to water quality in areas with unconventional oil and gas development.

January 2nd of 2014 the Lisby Pad explosion spilled an unknown amount of "black sludge" associated with a horizontal drilling site in Tyler County into a feeder stream of a local municipality's source water stream.
Bill Hughes

 

State senators in Charleston took action this week to roll back aboveground tank regulations put in place after last year’s chemical spill which contaminated water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

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