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What’s past is prologue: Ohio’s manufacturing powerhouse can still run on natural gas

Armed with new technologies and policies to support natural gas development, the Buckeye State could make its storied manufacturing past, its prologue.

According to Linda Waggon of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, nearby energy sources helped to grow Ohio’s population in the late 19th century, and the state quickly became a “manufacturing powerhouse and a leader on the national economic stage.”

As Waggon relates:

[quote]The first commercial natural gas well was drilled in Findlay, Ohio, in 1884, leading the population to quadruple. By 1888, Edward Libbey was moving his company from Boston to Toledo to take advantage of the abundant and inexpensive gas to power his glass furnaces. This era saw the birth of companies with names such as Goodyear, Sherwin-Williams and Owens Corning.[/quote]

Today, despite new challenges, Ohio’s location is leading to prosperous ventures and jobs once more, thanks to domestic shale gas formations right beneath our feet, Waggon explains:

[quote]For the first time in more than 100 years, Ohio has the chance to once again be a leader in the production of oil and gas […] Shale energy is expected to contribute 65,000 jobs, with an average salary of $50,225 per job, and more than $4.8 billion to Ohio’s economy by 2014.[/quote]

Energy production is once again responsible for the creation of high paying jobs across several industries in Ohio. In Youngstown, Canton and the Mahoning Valley, shale gas development has enabled the domestic steel industry to create 2,275 new Ohio jobs and has increased Ohio’s gross domestic product by $162 million, according to Waggon.

In Steubenville, 300 shale-related jobs have already come and 10,000 more are expected in the next three years, Waggon says. These 10,000 jobs could employ engineers, architects, office and construction workers, consultants, manufacturers and more.

According to a study by the American Chemistry Council, a $3.2 billion investment in ethelyene production in Ohio would generate a total of $4.8 billion in additional chemical industry output and create more than 17,000 permanent jobs in the chemical industry.

So, in Ohio, you might say the best is yet to come.

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