Appalachian Basin

Survey: 78% of Ohioans Support State’s Growing Oil, Natural Gas Industry

Ohioans support continued oil and natural gas development in the Buckeye State, according to new surveys commissioned by the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program. An impressive 78 percent of respondents said they support oil and natural gas development in the Ohio River Valley, while 88 percent acknowledged this development is important for their communities.

As OOGEEP Executive Director Rhonda Reda said:

“Ohioans understand how safe and environmentally responsible shale development is creating local, well-paying jobs and generating new opportunities for manufacturing and economic growth.”

One survey included 400 registered voters in eight southeastern Ohio counties, and found strong support for shale development across all ages and political affiliations. The results are consistent with another OOGEEP-commissioned statewide survey of 2,102 conducted earlier this year that found 80 percent of residents view the industry as a job creator and means to stimulate economic growth.

Record Quarter for Oil and Natural Gas Production Benefits Residents, Businesses

The survey results come on the heels of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ release of its third quarter 2019 production data showing the state again broke quarterly production records. Compared to the same quarter in 2018, natural gas production increased by more than 11 percent, while oil production went up nearly 30 percent. This record production is significantly benefiting local businesses and residents.

For instance, an Ohio Oil & Gas Association and Energy In Depth report from November found that eight of the state’s top shale counties have collectively received nearly $142 million in real estate property taxes on oil and natural gas production since 2011. One hundred percent of this tax revenue goes back to the counties, municipalities and school districts where the wells are located.

The benefits are also being felt outside of these shale counties. As Reda explained:

“Voters recognize that shale development creates significant cost-savings for consumers and small businesses while employing 200,000 Ohioans, and strengthens our national security as well as communities across the state.”

A 2019 report by OOGEEP and Shale Crescent USA found that increased U.S. shale production – driven by the Appalachian Basin or Shale Crescent region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – has saved consumers more than $1.1 trillion over the past decade. That’s about $4,000 per household and represents billions of dollars in savings for manufacturers.

Additionally, Cleveland State University recently reported that total shale-related investments in Ohio have reached nearly $78 billion since 2011. Such investments are a major reason why 47 percent of the OOGEEP survey’s respondents in southeast Ohio said “natural gas and oil development will play the biggest role in the future of the state’s economy.” That’s 30 points higher than the next closest industry.

Natural Gas Helping Ohio Reduce Emissions

The economic benefits of such prolific development have not come at the expense of the environment, a fact that survey respondents also acknowledged: 83 percent of voters said the oil and natural gas industry is “producing energy in cleaner and more efficient ways.”

Data show they’re right.

Methane intensity in the Appalachian Basin – the amount of methane emitted per unit of production – decreased 82 percent at the same time that natural gas production skyrocketed in the region.

The switch to natural gas in U.S. power generation has resulted in 57 percent greater carbon emissions reductions than wind and solar combined since 2005. Greenhouse gases are at their lowest levels since 1992, and the Appalachian Basin has helped to spearhead the decreases in U.S. carbon emissions and the key pollutants that impact health like sulfur dioxide.

Oil and natural gas are being produced across the country in cleaner, more efficient ways that are benefiting U.S. residents and reinvigorating businesses. Ohio’s voters are witnessing this first hand, OOGEEP’s surveys show.

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