The Tri-State Shale Coalition Agreement, which seeks to develop job growth in the Appalachia, was extended on March 21. All three governors of the region's shale gas-producing states—Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania; John Kasich, Ohio; and Jim Justice, West Virginia, signed the extension.

The agreement, originally signed in 2015, stipulates that the three states work together on issues of infrastructure, workforce development and marketing activities to harness the potential of the Appalachian region’s natural gas.

According to Wolf's statement, the extension “signifies to domestic and international markets that the region’s shared goal is to maximize opportunities for these resources to be used to support additional manufacturing opportunities within the region rather than to simply export the resources to other areas.”

“The shale gas resources in the Appalachian Basin represent enormous economic opportunity not just for Pennsylvania, but for the region as a whole,” Wolf continued in the statement. “We have a unique proposition: abundant and low-cost feedstock for petrochemical and plastics manufacturing, all within the same geographic footprint. I’m proud to continue our successful collaboration with Ohio and West Virginia to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support additional development—and the jobs and economic growth that go with it—in a region with an unprecedented natural resource.”

West Virginia’s Justice said shale gas presents an opportunity to spur economic growth beyond the wellhead, according to a report in WVNews. He added that the coalition is working to attract investors and downstream partners.

“Instead of competing, our three states are working together to promote the region as a center for shale-related manufacturing,” the website quoted Justice.

The coalition holds summits at which government, educational and industry leaders from throughout the region gather to share information and best practices.

The new extension continues the agreement through Dec. 31, 2021.