A Proud Past, A Bright Future Thanks to the Utica Shale
For over two hundred years, the Mahoning Valley has drawn people with the promise of a better way of life and a brighter future. Ten generations of my family have proudly called Trumbull County “home”.
Over the course of the last two centuries, the promise of a brighter future has transcended from fertile farmland, to steel production, to ultimately auto manufacturing. And while, over the last 40 years, the promise has been dimmed and many have left the Valley to seek opportunities in other parts of the country. Once again, we have before us a great opportunity in the form of onshore energy development right here in Ohio.
The prospects of large shale deposits have already revived steel in the Valley. V&M Star has recently completed a $650,000 million expansion to their Youngstown plant to feed the demand for seamless drilling pipe used in oil and gas exploration. Industry analysts believe that $10 billion a year will be invested in the region over the next 10 years and $110 billion over the next 20 years.
New capital investment means job growth. A recent IHS CERA study has estimated that by 2015, natural gas production from shale and other “tight” reservoirs will create more than 204,000 new jobs in Ohio and over 1.5 million jobs in the United States. This growth will easily translate into added tax revenue for depleted public sector budgets, most importantly in healthcare and education. The IHS reports “By 2015, unconventional gas activities will contribute nearly $50 billion in federal, state and local government tax and federal royalty revenue.” The report goes on to say, “Between 2010 and 2035, continued development of unconventional gas will generate a cumulative total of nearly $1.5 trillion in federal, state, and local tax and royalty revenue.”
Ultimately, the benefits from shale go far beyond job creation and stimulation of the local tax base. Onshore natural gas development leads to a revitalization of our community, the opportunity for another generation to call the Valley “home”, and the prospect of a brighter future.