Appalachian Basin

Ohio University Student: How Fracking Saved My Family

My name is Madison Roscoe and I’m currently a freshman at Ohio University studying political science.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for the Ohio oil and natural gas industry and the opportunities it brought to my family.

There’s one major factor that is often ignored in discussions about hydraulic fracturing.  Most of the time, the emphasis is on the environment. But what about the fact that this industry has helped to financially stabilize many families, including my own?

Some people seem to think that banning fracking would only impact “Big Oil.” But it would be people like me and my family would be harmed the most from shutting down this source of economic opportunity.

My father worked two full time jobs for the majority of my life. This meant that I didn’t get to see him very often. He worked during holiday celebrations, vacations, and sporting events. This was just so we could get by as a family. My mother went to college later in her life to become a nurse. That helped, but my dad continued to work a heavy schedule so he could make sure our family was financially stable.

In 2011, my dad made a decision that changed our lives for the better. He enrolled at the New Castle School of Trades to get his commercial driver’s license (CDL). He took money from his 401(k) to pay for our bills and his tuition. After only six weeks, he completed the course.

In November 2011, he began his first job in the oil and natural gas industry at Keane and doubled his salary from when he worked two full time jobs. After six months, he went to work for Multi-Chem, a Halliburton owned company. This increased his pay even more.

My dad’s new schedule had him working ten days with five days off, which meant I could see him a lot more often. He was home for major holidays and finally able to go on family vacations. I don’t think I could explain the amount of excitement in our family when my father could be there to share memories with my mother, brother, and me. During this time, my dad’s employment became even more vital, as my mother had to file for disability.

My dad always encouraged me to go for my dreams. His mantra is that determination equals success. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to go to college at Ohio University to study political science. Now, here I sit, in large part due to my father’s resolve to give me opportunities I need to succeed.

I can honestly say that if it weren’t for the oil and natural gas industry, I wouldn’t be here. It took only six weeks for my dad to change the course of our lives. I only hope that I can make him as proud of me as I am of him. My concern is, how many families aren’t able to give their child the chance to go to their school of choice? How many families would miss out on these opportunities if people opposed to fracking are able to stifle an industry with so much promise?

The author, from Beaver County, Pa., is currently a freshman at Ohio University.


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