Letter: Natural Gas is Boosting Ohio’s Energy, Manufacturing

March 2, 2020

Columbus Dispatch. Ohio’s natural gas production is driving hope and paving the way for manufacturing in the Buckeye State. Whether it’s the opportunity for the PTT ethane cracker facility or other advanced manufacturers, as Crystal Lorimor wrote in last Monday’s op-ed “Companies will boost local economy and protect the environment,” the natural gas we’re producing here is creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs Ohio needs for a thriving middle class.

Since 2011, more than $78 billion has been invested in Ohio shale production, pipeline infrastructure and manufacturing use, according to a Cleveland State University analysis. The investment to safely produce the energy our economy needs supports more than 200,000 good-paying careers for Ohioans, according to state data.

And, as the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas producer, we have an incredible opportunity to drive manufacturing growth.

That’s an opportunity that excites Ohio voters. A recent poll by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program found 78% of southeastern Ohioans support natural gas and oil development and 88% believe it’s important to their community.

Across the river, Pennsylvania is seeing the economic lift that natural gas can deliver, as more than 6,000 skilled workers are constructing a similar manufacturing facility to what PTT wants to build here.

Despite what some falsely suggest, with natural gas we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment or a strong economy. As Lorimor wrote, we can — and do — have both.

Kennedy Copeland, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, Granville

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