Late last year, 7News learned that the United States Department of Energy had said that the Appalachia region had enough resources to handle an ethane hub.

Following President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, we have now learned that the Department of Energy will generate a report on downstream economic development from a hub in the Northern Panhandle. 

Officials say that if this area were an independent country, it would be the third-largest natural gas producer in the world. 

7News caught up with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito about her thoughts on the report.

“We know with the hub what the first line of economic impact are, which is jobs and investments,” said Senator Capito. “But what could develop because of that. I think granular information. The hub’s moving and it’s expensive and it’s big, it’s innovative. But I think it could be a game changer.”

Senator Capito added that she has invited Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to West Virginia to see the natural gas industry first-hand.