Appalachian Basin

2012 Candidate Archive: Our Brightest Days are Ahead of Us, and They Will be Powered by Ohio Energy

*Editor’s note: This column was originally published on May 18, 2012

When it comes to energy, there is good news on the horizon for Ohio. With improvements to the process of extracting oil and natural gas, Ohio has an opportunity to become a major player in the domestic energy game.

An increase in shale development and natural gas production would, of course, come on top of our already massive supply of coal – which can now be burned more cleanly and efficiently than at any time in history. Several companies are looking at areas in northeast Ohio to tap into the Marcellus Shale formation, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

That means more jobs for Ohioans and more domestic energy for all Americans, both significant positives. New employment would come from the industry itself, as well as in the industries providing the materials, supplies and services needed to meet the demands of expanding development. The Ohio steel industry and energy sector in particular would benefit greatly.

With shale development, Ohio can tackle two significant problems: high unemployment and lagging domestic energy production. The abundant, clean-burning fuel must play a key role in the “all-of-the-above” energy strategy I have advocated for since being elected. The new, less invasive techniques used to extract natural gas mean we have the ability access it without causing significant harm to our environment – something we can all agree we must avoid.

Unfortunately, the is working every day to put the brakes on our ability to access and use Ohio’s vast energy resources. One example of their anti-energy agenda is the proposed mercury rule. Independent groups estimate the new rule, will cost between $70-200 billion dollars annually. Those costs will result in higher energy prices for consumers and businesses, and less energy produced.

The current administration has more than 3,100 new regulations in the works, with almost 170 of them expected to have a $100 million or greater negative impact on the economy. Over 45,000 pages of new regulations were added to the books last year. Far too many of those were aimed at the energy sector.

That being said, it is important for me to make sure the public has as much information as possible about how energy production in Ohio will affect them. That is why I will be hosting an energy forum and community discussion at Walsh University on the evening of May 23. It will bring together a diverse group of experts to speak with the community about what is occurring now and what will happen in the future in northeast Ohio on the energy front.

The forum will focus on key aspects of energy development, such as the economic impact and job creation, environmental issues, leasing and landowner issues, and the geology and development of the Utica Shale formation. Attendees will also have an opportunity to voice their opinions and ask the panel specific questions.

We can develop our bountiful natural resources in Ohio. And thanks to technological advancements we can do it in a way that protects our environment. I have always believed Ohio and America’s best days are ahead of us. Thanks to cheap, reliable domestic energy tomorrow will be that much brighter.

Rep. Renacci is serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a member of the Financial Services Committee. Prior to his election he worked as a Certified Public Accountant in the health care industry, and owned and operated over 60 other businesses in the automotive and sports management fields.

Please be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

1 Comment

Post A Comment