Burdette noted that the state of New York similarly offered significant financial incentives to try to get Macy's to locate a $150 million distribution center there -- but that facility is under construction near Martinsburg.
"I can assure you that New York threw a lot more cash at it than we did, but what turned it is the long-term costs," he said.
Burdette said Macy's executives determined that over the long term, it would be cheaper to operate the center in West Virginia.
Also, during the 2011 regular session, the Legislature passed a tax-incentive package in hopes of attracting a cracker plant, including a provision to allow the plant facilities to be assessed at salvage value for property taxes.
West Virginia has not had a cracker plant since a facility in Institute closed in the 1970s, DiGregorio said. At the time, new plants opened in the Gulf Coast and in Canada, where ethane was cheaper and more plentiful.
However, development of the Marcellus Shale gas field, which stretches from upstate New York, through western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio and through much of West Virginia, makes the region again viable for cracker plants, DiGregorio said.
While there has been considerable debate over the potential adverse environmental impact of Marcellus Shale drilling, DiGregorio said cracker plants involve a "relatively benign" chemical process.
The process, which involves heating ethane under high pressure to more than 750 degrees Celsius to convert it to ethylene, releases carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.