Appalachian Basin

Jobs, Revenue and Opportunity for Ohio: The Cat’s Out of the Bag

Well, we tried to keep it a secret for as long as we could. But last week, the beans were officially spilled about the potential to convert Ohio’s homegrown energy into hundreds of thousands of new jobs for our residents, billions in annual state and local tax revenue, and billions more in energy cost savings for consumers.

These are just a few of the findings from a new study released last week by OOGEEP and compiled and written by the respected, Ohio-based firm of Kleinhenz & Associates. The top-line take-away? The responsible development of the Utica Shale has the potential to generate nearly 205,000 new direct and indirect jobs for Ohio by 2015. And with those new jobs comes plenty of new output for our economy and wages for our workers, with output rising by $22 billion over the next couple years and wages jumping by more than $12 billion.

Of course, this is great news for Ohio – but the impact of responsible energy development isn’t simply confined to the Buckeye State. On Tuesday, our colleagues at API and the Ohio Petroleum Council released the results of a new national study laying out a scenario in which more than 1.4 million new jobs and $800 billion in revenue for state and local governments could be generated over the next 20 years, very much of that a direct result of shale development.

The results of that study, and ours, were announced at the same press conference at which a united industry formally launched several new and exciting initiatives in which OOGEEP is actively involved. Among the most critical in my judgment is EID’s effort in Ohio.

Along with OOGA’s Tom Stewart, I’m proud to have been asked to guide and direct EID’s on the ground education and outreach campaign here in the state. When it comes to educating Ohioans of all ages about the basics of how and where we get our energy, how it’s used, and what the development of more of it could mean for us in the future – well, let’s just say it’s not a 40-hour-a-week job. Having Mike, Dan, JR and Shawn from EID join this critical effort is fantastic news. With the cat now officially out of the bag in Ohio with respect to the potential benefits of the Utica, let’s just say the timing of this campaign could not be better. The timing of this campaign could not be better.

Indeed, as we heard time and again this week from some pretty impressive speakers at Gov. Kasich’s energy summit in Columbus, the opportunity here has never been greater – and the imperative of getting it right the first time never more apparent. But as Tom Stewart writes below, the extent to which these opportunities will be fully realized depends in large part on the extent to which we’re successful in educating and building awareness among the broader public.

The good news is that’s exactly what OOGEEP was created to do. With the EID team now in Ohio, we now have the support we need to do it even better.

So along with Tom, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome you to the site. Please be sure to visit our library section while you’re here – that’s where you’ll find OOGEEP’s new economic study, along with several fact sheets boiling down the report’s key findings (obviously, those documents are available for download on OOGEEP’s site as well).

And don’t leave without signing up for updates and the latest news from the EID-Ohio team. Needless to say, we’ll have plenty to talk about in the weeks and months to come so be sure to check back often!

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