Staff of the Shale Gas Knowledge Hub traveled to Waynesburg University in Greene County, Pa., to attend the launch event for the county’s new marketing and branding plan. The event included several speakers from county government, the energy industry, and the team tasked with the rebranding.
The theme of energy was present in all of the speakers’ presentations throughout the evening. Greene has dubbed itself “A Powerful Place, Perfectly Placed” which alludes to the rich history of the energy industry in the county. Representatives from Consol Energy spoke of the longstanding coal legacy in the county, the future of Consol in the region, and the progress being made in toward renewable energy with natural gas as the bridging resource.
Denise Brinley of the Governor’s Office of Energy spoke of the new opportunities in downstream development in the county and state in whole. She spoke of a new initiative called the Tristate Shale Coalition, which collectivizes states in the Marcellus and Utica shale region, allowing for a more regional focus when discussing opportunities with the industry. Brinley noted the potential for natural gas-based manufacturing in Greene, such as an ethane cracker plant like Shell’s in Beaver County. Continuing this discussion, Jerry Tompson of MARC USA, a Pittsburgh-based advertising company, reviewed the economic growth potential that the downstream industry could bring Greene. Based on its independent econometric analysis, Tompson argued that a cracker plant in Greene could grow the state’s GDP by $60 billion. He also noted the abundance of natural gas reserves in the state and the ability to not only fuel the region’s natural gas demand, but also the world’s through exporting.
There was much talk about the numerous advantages of Greene County’s location, such as its proximity to the Monongahela River, major pipelines, and other states. Due to its location, the speakers believe that Greene could be a hub for the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania.
Recognizing its position as one of the top counties in the state in natural gas production, Greene County officials appear poised to take full advantage of the opportunities available in the region.