Welcome to EID Ohio
Ohio has always been a state of bests, firsts, greatests and onlys – home of the first electrified city, the guys who invented the airplane, and the first man to walk on the moon. It’s the rubber capital of the world and the birthplace of rock and roll. And nationally, Ohio ranks in the top ten in just about everything that’s worth keeping track of, from sweet corn and strawberries, to chickens, pigs and maple syrup.
But did you know we’ve also got more active natural gas wells in Ohio than all but five of states? Ohio’s history of oil and natural gas development extends back more than 150 years, producing nearly $125 billion worth of American energy over that time. But it’s what may happen here over the next 50 or so months that’s got everyone talking these days.
According to the findings of a new study released this week the responsible development of the Utica Shale could generate more than 200,000 new jobs for Ohio over the next three or four years – and $12 billion in wages for workers. Those are serious numbers. And it’s going to take a serious effort on the part of our industry to ensure we deliver on it .
Part of that effort will involve science and engineering and innovation – as it always has for this industry. But a big part will also involve engaging with, and answering honest questions from, the folks with whom we have the privilege of sharing this state.
Sure, hydraulic fracturing’s been around since the days of zoot suits and Woody Guthrie. Sure, it’s been deployed safely in this country more than 1.2 million times over the past 60 years, with even the current EPA administrator conceding that its safety record is sound. And sure: the core mechanics of fracturing a conventional well are no different from those of fracturing a shale well.
But right now, too little of that information is being presented to too few of our neighbors – with folks instead being told that the technologies we use are brand new, completely unregulated, and wrecking air, water and land wherever they’re used. EID’s campaign here in Ohio was created in light of and response to that challenge. And it’s an effort of which I couldn’t be more excited to be part.
This month marks my 20th year at the helm of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. In that time, I think I’ve just about seen it all: the good, the bad, the ugly and the just plain crazy. As recently as five years ago, the idea that Ohio could generate trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and billions of barrels of oil from shale probably would’ve fit best in that final category.
Well, it’s not so crazy anymore. But delivering on that promise for our kids and grandkids is not some sort of fait accompli. It’s going to take hard work, a significant investment in retail engagement and education, and a serious commitment to doing things right in and by the communities in which our activities take place.
Most of all, it’s going to take your support – and it’s up to us to go out and earn it. So welcome to EID Ohio. And please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of help moving forward.