During Governor John Kasich's first year in office, he organized an energy summit at Ohio State University that was historic for its participation levels, subject matter, and prophetic nature. Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon was the headliner and Gov. Kasich made the case that shale was going to change the world, lead to U.S. energy independence, and spearhead Ohio's economic recovery. (Click here for a Cleveland Plain Dealer article on the event.) It was interesting that this forum also foreshadowed the utility battle over the failing economics of coal/nuclear electric power plants.
Six years after that event, Gov. Kasich and McClendon’s vision is being realized. The energy summit discussed possible future investment totaling $200 billion. JOBS OHIO is in the process of updating Utica investment numbers and early indications are that investments in just five years will be well over $25 billion. I will provide actual numbers upon their release!
At the same time, the Houston Chronicle recently reported that U.S. oil production is poised to break the record set in 1970 and the U.S. now has greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia.
Finally, the Canton Chamber of Commerce and its Vice-President Dave Kaminski held another excellent shale conference (Utica Upstream) this month where author Andrew Thomas from the University of Akron stated that shale was more transformative than the internet and all of us should take the time to determine how shale impact us in our vocations. An overview of his remarks is available here.
Thomas was obviously making a bold statement, but that same day the U.S. bombed a Syrian airfield in response to a chemical weapon attack. This was an action sure to incite both Iran and Russia, and in past years it would have led to oil and gasoline price spikes (remember the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis). This year, there were virtually no oil price ramifications as shale has basically immunized the U.S. from this threat.We are still early in 2017 but early indications are that shale is continuing to transform the U.S. economy and our standing in the world.