Shale Development Drives Down Ohio Gasoline Prices to Under $2 Per Gallon
You don’t hear too much about Toledo, Ohio, when you read stories about the Utica Shale boom, but when you take a look at where to find the cheapest gasoline in Ohio, Toledo emerges as the winner with prices under $1.90 per gallon. As the Toledo Blade recently reported, “A significant drop in oil prices since summer was one factor expected to boost holiday road travel last week and this week.” Holiday travel in turn spurs retail, restaurant, hotel, and grocery store traffic, which stimulates the economy throughout Ohio, and indeed all across the country.
Utica Shale permits are being issued for work many miles away from Toledo and Lima, but motorists all over the state can thank shale development and fracking for a decrease in prices at the pump. Over the past week alone, gasoline prices in Ohio have fallen 14.4 cents per gallon, while prices nationwide fell at an average of 9.6 cents per gallon. Some say that this drop in gas prices “is set to provide the United States economy with a multibillion-dollar boost through the holiday season and beyond.”
Lower gasoline prices impact every corner and fabric of our society, and in fact are helpful in the fight against poverty. There is no doubt that lower prices at the pump have been a welcome change for Ohioans, providing some extra cash toward holiday spending this year. That additional savings will help ring in 2015 as well.
The benefits go even further, though, as Ohio businesses both large and small depend on cheap energy to remain competitive. According to a survey by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, presented to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, 72 percent of small businesses report they are affected by high energy prices. Of these businesses, 41 percent report that they have altered hiring plans and another 22 percent report reducing employee hours because of high energy costs.
The trickle-down effect of high gasoline prices also impacts those looking for a job. For example, in 2011, when the national unemployment rate was close to double digits, high pump prices made it even harder for those out of work to seek employment.
The data are undeniable. There is simply no greater example of shale development improving the lives of working families than what we have experienced, and continue to experience, here in the Buckeye State.