I have written before on these pages about how an administration that kowtows to the environmental lobby has played havoc with jobs in my adopted home state of Utah, with the caveat that sooner or later prohibitions on energy development and multiple use of public lands would find its way to other parts of the nation. And unfortunately, I was right. I submit for your consideration the issue of shale gas in Ohio. Yes, Ohio. Not Utah. Not Colorado, not even Pennsylvania but Ohio.
Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is stumping for Senator. He recently published a piece in the Wall Street Journal and on his website about the federal government derailing the oil shale gas industry in Ohio before it even gets off, or more appropriately out of the ground.
According to Mandel, exploration of Ohio’s Utica shale formation could create 200,000 jobs in Ohio, shovel ready and otherwise. Let me say that again: 200,000 jobs. That number includes the people needed to get the energy out of the ground and the umber of people needed by Republic Steel and U.S. Steel who will have to produce the pipes and other equipment. And don’t forget the people who will be employed in the various stores, hotels, restaurants and trucking companies needed to back all of this production up.
There is a precedent for this, I saw it happen in Utah, and it is happening right now in North Dakota. The extraction industry brings jobs. Many of them are high-paying jobs that include things like health insurance and retirement plans.
But the promise in Ohio is in limbo at the moment, and may not come to pass, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it has decided to suspend oil and gas leases on three thousand acres of federal land in Ohio.