Last night, the City of Youngstown rejected an ill advised “Community Bill of Rights” charter amendment that threatened the city from regaining its status as an economic powerhouse that it once was. The charter amendment was handily defeated by a 57% to 43% margin. In the end 3,821 voted against the measure while only 2,880 voted to impose the ban.

This week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report stating that North American shale and oil sands development is “reaching all recesses of the global oil market” and, most importantly, displacing OPEC supplies. As the report continuously echoes, North America is altering the entire global energy equation and enabling the United States’ highest level of energy security in two decades, all while boosting our economy, creating jobs, and providing a resurgence in domestic manufacturing.

Recently at a joint press conference at the Youngstown - Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce a coalition called the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment was announced. This groups sole purpose is to educate residents in the Youngstown area about natural gas development. The reason for the creation of the coalition is due to the charter amendment that is on the ballot in Youngstown on May 7th.

Back in December 2011, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released a report on the major impact shale development was having on American manufacturing. The report, “Shale Gas: A Renaissance in US Manufacturing?” highlighted how affordable, domestic supplies of natural gas will save U.S. manufacturers more than $11 billion per year over the next decade, create one million new jobs during that same period, and increase disposable income for each household in the United States by as much as $2,000 per year. Now, nearly a year later, PwC has released a new report, “Shale gas: Reshaping the US chemicals industry,” focused on the direct impact of shale development on North America’s chemical industry.

At a recent event honoring the Ohio State University football team, Gov. John Kasich noted "deep concern" regarding the notion that our oil and natural gas industry "may not be hiring Ohioans." The governor remarked: "You could have a situation where we're not getting the jobs, they're taking the resources and all their profits and they are heading home. "While the governor noted he didn't have any evidence supporting this assertion, he announced he was considering investigating this "very serious" matter. If this idea were true, it would be a serious problem; however, even a cursory review shows that oil and natural gas development is not only providing jobs for Ohioans, but also leading an economic renaissance in bringing billions of dollars into our economy that otherwise would not be invested here.