Ohio Energy Jobs Summit Showcases Our Economic Revival
On Wednesday, The Hill hosted the Ohio Energy Jobs Summit at the Sheraton in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Attendees were provided perspective on the incredible potential Utica Shale development is bringing to Ohio.
In his speech, Jack Gerard, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO, epitomized the sentiment of Ohio’s business and industry leaders:
We are at the forefront of an American revolution that has not been seen since the tech boom in the 1990’s.
This sentiment is not lost on the many sectors in Ohio’s economy already taking part in this economic “revolution”. With the resurgence of steel, manufacturing, and downstream jobs needed to develop these important resources. In fact, this development is beginning to help Ohio communities see the light at the end of the tunnel from a recession that has plagued the state for nearly a decade.
Representing the Steel industry at the event were Doug Matthews, vice president of U.S. Steel‘s Tubular Operations, and Tim Timken, CEO of Timken Co. Both had very insightful and positive comments on what shale development has meant to their companies. The Timken Co., an Ohio based company in Stark County, has seen incredible expansion from oil and natural gas development, just breaking ground on a new $225 Million expansion of their Fairview plant.
Mr. Mathews has noticed the benefits in not only increase in demand for the production of tubular steel, but the positive impacts of low natural gas prices brought forth by shale production as well. Like many industries, US Steel was in a difficult financial position as recently as 2008. But in late 2009-2010 increased shale development began to help get the company back on track. Now they are expanding and taking full advantage of the opportunities shale development has offered:
Really what’s happened over the past 6-7 years as the shales have developed, we had a pretty good economy for a period in 2008. There was a pretty robust rig count that was occurring out there and then we had the economic crisis of late 2008-2009 so a pretty substantial impact on manufacturing and the whole economy in general. And then we started to see the rig count improve over time. And really what was emerging and really transforming at that time was really a complete change in the types of drilling that was occurring. It was the emergence of shale. -Doug Matthews
The manufacturing sector is realizing the potential, so are the members of Ohio’s legislature. During a panel discussion featuring Senate President Tom Niehaus, Speaker of the House Bill Batchelder, Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Dave Hall, and Senator Lou Gentile, there was not a single panelist who did not acknowledge the incredible opportunities, including expansive job creation, the state stands to gain from the development of our homegrown energy resources.
Senate President Tom Niehaus’s, who has been working on oil and gas issues for his 12 years in the legislature, said his greatest disappointment is that his house is not above Ohio’s Utica Shale play, that being said he understands this development will produce jobs, jobs that will last generations:
The exciting potential that exists for the industries that need this energy resource, whether its chemicals or manufacturing and the potential that exists for the renaissance for manufacturing, but not just in Eastern Ohio in Lou’s area but through out Ohio. When you look at the ripple effect and all of the companies that are benefiting, whether it’s the production of pipe or pumps, equipment that is just through out the state of Ohio so while the focus is on Eastern Ohio, some of the most dramatic changes are occurring in Eastern Ohio, all of us in Ohio will benefit. – Sen. Tom Niehaus
It was a great day of panel discussions talking about the most important topic in Ohio; Jobs. The development of the Utica Shale is proving to be the catalyst in rebuilding Ohio’s job market. Whether it is the chemical industry, manufacturing industry, equipment sales or hospitality, the expanding development of our natural resources in the Utica Shale is helping all industries in Ohio thrive.