Safe, local energy production, and development in the nearby Marcellus and Utica formations, remains a must-have for municipalities here and statewide to benefit not only the environment, but the wallets of all Ohioan families and businesses, various policymakers, manufacturers, and labor leaders said at an October energy and manufacturing summit in Warren, Ohio, hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).
At Leo’s Ristorante on East Market Street, gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray joined other policymakers along with business, energy, and labor leaders to discuss how the next-door Marcellus and Utica shale formations have driven growth in natural gas production locally, lowered manufacturing, industrial, and commercial costs, dramatically increased job growth, tax revenue, and economic opportunities, and with pipeline expansion, helped better protect the environment.
The event brought together the following speakers to share their perspectives on energy policy in the context of jobs, the economy, the environment, and U.S. competitiveness:
- Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Cordray
- George Stark, Director, External Affairs, Cabot Oil & Gas
- Rick Stockburker, VP & COO, Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center
- State Rep. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th
- Douglas Polk, Vice President, Industry Affairs, Vallourec
- Mr. Ryan R. Augsburger, Vice President and Managing Director, Public Policy Services, Ohio Manufacturers Association
- John Hughes, Executive Director, Ohio LECET
- Mike Butler, Mid-Atlantic Director, CEA
- Chris Ventura, Midwest Director, CEA
With election season underway, and recent polling showing that an overwhelming majority of the nation supports a bipartisan policy that promotes American energy security, lowers costs, and multiplies economic prospects while protecting the environment, speakers at the forum stressed the need to move forward with an all-of-the-above strategy that urges the growth of all resources and the expansion of all energy infrastructure — starting in Ohio.
Cordray said that includes educating workers with the right skill sets – “we need a flexible spectrum of training to be made available to young people, and not so young people,” he said – and continuing to enforce a much-needed, all-of-the-above energy policy.
“When we say, ‘all of the above,’ we mean all of the above. It includes wind and solar, oil and natural gas, and liquefied natural gas,” said Cordray. “I believe we’re going to have a long, long future of energy in Ohio that will span hundreds of years, and renewables years after that. Clean energy and cheap energy are key components to bringing more manufacturing jobs to Ohio. Ohio’s advantage is we have abundant water and abundant energy, so we will always be a manufacturing state.”
Ventura discussed how voters must remember the importance of reasonable energy solutions when they head to the polls, adding how a recent CEA analysis found Ohioan residential, commercial, and industrial consumers saved more than $40 billion combined from 2006 to 2016 in natural gas costs, thanks largely to increased production and new technologies.
“Developing the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and improving their energy infrastructure are must-haves for voters on both sides of the political aisle to ensure Ohio continues to have energy security and diversity and access to affordable, reliable resources,” Ventura said. “All will help lower energy costs for cash-strapped families and businesses and create more economic opportunities by providing greater incentive for manufacturers and businesses to set up shop and create jobs.”
Stark said Cabot, which was “excited” to partner CEA on the forum, has used the region’s energy renaissance to create more jobs and opportunities.
“We want to highlight the intersection between advances in the energy industry and local jobs,” Stark said. “Together, we can create meaningful career opportunities, lower energy bills, and enhance the environment.”
Boccieri said that’s already happened. Case in point: The Youngstown area, he said, has attracted more than 30 percent of Ohio’s expansion in manufacturing because of the Utica Shale.
“We need to continue finding ways not just to produce and consume energy, but to do so sustainably,” he added. “I want to give consumers an option to roll into a gas station and choose between electricity, natural gas, traditional fuel, or something not even created yet. It is a national security issue that we be not just energy consumers but energy producers with a broad portfolio of diverse energy supplies.”
Stockburger said that’s possible with the right steps forward.
“At the intersection of technology and energy is where we will find a future that is fit for our children,” Stockburger said. “I fervently believe the future of energy will come from a mix of industry, incubators, universities, and startups actively seeking to create a prosperous future for us all.”
The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers, and manufacturers to support America’s energy future.
SOURCE – CEA