For the last two years the Record-Courier has printed many articles about the booming gas and oil industry in Ohio. Mike Sever wrote many of them; early on I noticed a bias in his writing. He looks for any possible negative issue and makes it his headline. He is an alarmist. I think that he would like to see the oil and gas industry removed from Ohio.
My feeling is the opposite. I have done my homework and educated myself about the oil and gas industry in Ohio. I am by no means an expert, but I am very excited about its future here in Ohio and Portage County.
All industry has inherent dangers. Farming can be a dangerous industry if not properly executed. The same goes for construction, meat packing, auto assembly, gas and oil drilling, etc.
Experience has shown that the key to making industry acceptable to all stakeholders is through collaboration. So let's collaborate so that we all can thrive. Here are some of the opportunities we can look forward to for a very long time since enormous new discoveries could yield over 100 years worth of gas and oil -- thanks to the gas and oil industry here in Ohio:
Middle East Oil: Drill in the USA and say goodbye!
Jobs: The industry estimates Ohio employment will grow from the present 40,000 to 250,000 in the next 15 years. The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program has defined 74 different jobs; many require four-year college degrees, some require two-year associate's degrees, and some require a high school diploma or GED. Yearly pay ranges are from $30,000 to over $70,000 or more depending on the position, education and experience.
Home heating: Nearly 70 percent of Ohioans heat their homes with natural gas delivered from wells here in Ohio. The new finds of gas in Ohio have already brought prices that are almost half of what they were as short time ago. Now, that is important to almost every family in the state.
Teaching jobs: Universities and schools such as Kent State, Maplewood and Stark State are benefiting by seeing enrollment increases in gas and oil related-studies.
Gas and oil products; Did you know that there would be almost no gas or oil drilling in the mainland United States without using the technical innovation called hydraulic fracturing (fracking)? This technique was developed in 1947 and 1.2 million wells have been drilled using this technology -- without a single proven case of aquifer contamination! These are statements from both the Ohio and U.S. EPA.
By using the new finds and technology we now have a bridge to the future. I see our cup becoming fuller and the future much brighter.
Tarus Latacki, Brimfield