On the Larry Kudlow Show on WABC Radio last Saturday, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) talked about shale gas and how it can put people to work in Ohio. He noted how America’s chemistry industry uses natural gas and how development of Marcellus Shale resources can help ensure that chemistry jobs stay here in the United States.
An American Chemistry Council analysis found that a $3.2 billion investment in an ethylene production complex in Ohio would create more than 17,000 jobs in Ohio in the chemistry industry and its supply chain. That’s in addition to the study cited by Sen. Portman that found Ohio’s natural gas and oil reserves could create more than 204,500 jobs in just four years.
In case you missed it, I’ve transcribed and hyperlinked a portion of the October 15 show below. You may also listen for free by clicking here (the transcription below begins at the 29:50 mark).
Kudlow: Senator Portman, just talk to me a little bit about the “drill-drill-drill” component. Obviously Governor Rick Perry came out with his version of “drill-drill-drill.” And with all the developments and discoveries of oil and shale gas out west and the Marcellus fields in the northeast, and of course elsewhere – offshore, onshore. We have as many as a couple trillion dollars of oil and gas in reserves, if we develop them. Is there going to be a serious movement, Senator Portman, to liberating that, and stopping the EPA and interior department, and letting permitting continue and getting this Canadian pipeline coming down. All of these things, Perry says it created 1.2 million jobs. If anything, it’d probably be more than that. Can you do something about that?
Portman: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head, Larry, as far as what can be done. Let me give you a quick example. Here in the state of Ohio, we have the Marcellus, which is in Eastern Ohio, but also this Utica gas shale find which turns out is not just gas, but there is actually oil and what they call “wet gas,” which is a very important product for the chemical industry and will create lots of jobs. There is a new study out a few weeks ago saying that if Ohio alone can access those resources and produce those resources, we could grow over the next 10 or 15 years over 200,000 new jobs in Ohio. That’s a big deal for Ohio because, as you know, our economy has been hit hard and we have over 9% unemployment. And this is an opportunity in not just places like the Dakotas, Texas and Oklahoma that you’d normally think about for 0il and gas production, but here in the industrial Midwest, where we have been hit hard. For us to produce the pipes and the pumps, do the drilling and the production, and move the gas and use the gas and the oil and so called wet gas. And this would be great for our economy. It would also be good to encourage businesses like the chemical industry to stay in America because they will have their feedstock here. So, this is a really interesting opportunity for us. And what we said in our proposal is what you’re saying, which is let’s liberate it. Let’s get government regulation out of the way, let’s encourage it not discourage it. There was a study done that was reported on this week at the energy committee about what fracking is all about. This is what we use, hydraulic fracturing to break the shale and access the natural gas. And it was a very positive report. It took a lot of the environmentalist’s claims and looked at them on a factual basis and said, really, this has been done for about 50-60 years and if it’s done right, it is environmentally sound and can produce enormous benefits for the economy. So, it’s time for us to get busy on energy because this will create jobs. It also has the effect, of course, of making us less dependent on foreign oil. And gosh, we all should have recognized that over the last year. As you see, something that happens in Libya causes the corner gas station to raise its prices 10, 20, 30, 40%. That’s crazy. This is a huge potential opportunity for states like mine and our entire country.
Kudlow: Alright. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Republican growth package, he is one of the developers: “drill-drill-drill,” corporate tax reform, balance budget amendment and regulatory free. Senator, good luck on it. It is a noble task.