We need to prioritize efforts to protect the environment. West Virginians gladly will trade the 4-methylcyclohexane methanol-tainted water for whatever fireworks pollution the Truxlers suffer twice a year.
State Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick told legislators this week that he is trying to lure pork companies to Southern West Virginia.
But state Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, sees a bigger agricultural opportunity for West Virginia: marijuana. He may be on to something.
"We may never legalize marijuana in West Virginia, but maybe the potential exists for us to export the crop," Barnes said.
Pot may have better potential for the state than pork. As a generation of people who smoked pot in their youth assume political leadership, states slowly are repealing their prohibitions on cannabis.
Washington, D.C., is poised to become the next political entity to legalize pot. Why not offer them Mountaineer Marijuana?
The Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise project - Ascent - in the Parkersburg area quietly took another step forward when the Brazilian company behind the plan acquired the property from the Saudi Arabian company that owned the site, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel reported.
The site is the old Borg-Warner plastics site that SABIC now operates. In selling the land for $10,910,890, company officials announced the plant will close in 2015, ending 130 jobs.
But the hope is that the end of that one chemical plant will lead to the birth of three more petro-chemical plants as well as a cracker, which turns natural gas from Marcellus shale and other sources into a feedstock for plastics plants.
There are plenty of regulatory, financial and other hurdles ahead, but this property sale is an encouraging sign of progress.