Appalachian Basin

U.S. Senator Touts Shale At OMEGA Meeting

At a recent Ohio Mid Eastern Governmental Association (OMEGA) meeting in Cadiz, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) stopped by to talk a bit about the positive benefits of shale development.  Senator Portman, who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, knows the importance of shale development in the United States for our energy future.

As a U.S. Senator from Ohio, Senator Portman is also seeing how important shale development is to our state.  With over 38,000 jobs already attributed to the Utica Shale, it is truly a game changer.

“I really do believe this is going to put Ohio in a special position where we are able to see more economic growth than other states are because we have this energy resource and we’ll use it wisely.  We also have the benefit in Ohio to have one of the greatest manufacturing infrastructures in the world and one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world.  While it is not a direct link to energy it is very much a link.” –Sen. Rob Portman

Senator Portman also recognizes that oil and gas development should be done safely and responsibly. He noted that Ohio has always been at the forefront of strong regulation on the oil and gas industry, including the recent passage of SB 165, SB 315 and HB 59.

“One we have got to have good regulations in place and I know you all talk a lot about that and all have been involved recently.  But really Ohio has had good regulations since the 70’s.   We were kind of ahead of other states and we refined those recently.” – Sen. Rob Portman

Understanding the need for strong regulations in the state, Senator Portman also recognizes the cost of over-regulation of the industry, especially at the federal level.

“Let’s also not over regulate, let’s not squander this opportunity. That is my big concern in Washington.”  There are now 6 or 7 agencies or departments coming up with great new ideas to have a federal government overlay on the regulatory side.” – Sen. Rob Portman

Of course, Senator Portman is being facetious when referring to great new ideas.  The Senator knows that regulation coming from the states is far better than any approach coming from the federal government.

“I just want you to know I will continue to fight to ensure we have good regulations, we have safe regulations, and they fit our area.  One of my big concerns  about the federal overlay the we’re talking about particularly from EPA, from Department of Interior and Department of Energy is that they tend to do it in a one size fits all.  And our topography, our geology and our density in population is very different than the Bakken in say North Dakota or Oklahoma.  Two place where they are seeing a real boom right now.  What we don’t want is the federal government coming in and say we know best, we are going to figure this out for you and kill the goose that hasn’t laid the golden eggs yet.” – Sen. Rob Portman

State regulatory agencies like the Ohio Department of Natural Resources have an excellent track record of regulating industry.  They are knowledgeable of the geology and what is best for the state.  Without a single confirmed case of groundwater contamination in the state, as well as regulations that far exceed the federal government, Ohio is the model of regulating oil and gas correctly.

Economic development and proper regulation go hand in hand.  It is good see that Senator Portman will continue to fight in Washington to ensure that shale development is not derailed by overzealous individuals that refuse to base their decisions on facts and science.

NOTE: In case you missed it, check out what Ohio’s other U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown (D), said last year about the economic importance of responsible shale development in our state.

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