For those who were unable to attend McDonald Hopkins’ recent Shale Update in Columbus, we were honored to have Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor open the event:
Governor John Kasich cannot run for a third consecutive term in 2018, and some have speculated that the Lt. Gov. will officially announce her entry into the race in the near future. The Lt. Gov. seems to be Governor Kasich’s preference should she decide to officially announce her candidacy.
At the Shale Update, the Lt. Gov. highlighted Ohio’s unique Common Sense Initiative and spoke of her involvement in the Tri-State Agreement and the Shale Insight 2016 Conference held in Pittsburgh this past September.
The Tri-State Region of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, represents 85 percent of the increase in natural gas production in the United States since 2012 and the Tri-State Agreement between Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, ensures that the three states cooperate in efforts to attract new businesses and strengthen existing relationships in the natural gas and liquid infrastructure.
During her speech, the Lt. Gov. also mentioned a recent shale study by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Among several astonishing statistics, the study shows that 4.3 million jobs were created as a result of the shale energy renaissance and carbon dioxide emissions have decreased 19 percent as a result of natural gas replacing coal as the primary fuel choice for U. S. power generation.
The Chamber study focuses on just a few states, one being Pennsylvania. As a former Pennsylvania resident who started in the industry in 2010, I can actively speak to the positive impact shale has had on Pennsylvania.
According to the Chamber’s study, had the energy renaissance not happened, Pennsylvania would not have realized $13 billion in state GDP, $7.2 billion in labor income, and more than 117,000 jobs. Additionally, Pennsylvania imposes an “impact fee” from shale production that generates additional revenue streams that are shared with municipalities across the Commonwealth. The impact fee has resulted in $835.5 million collected, of which sixty percent stayed at the local level, going to counties and municipalities where development activities are taking place. The remaining forty percent went to various state agencies involved in regulating development and to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which supports environmental and infrastructure projects state-wide.
It appears that Mary Taylor is going to tout her shale involvement as she contemplates a race for Governor. This could be a powerful tool as the President elect showed this past November that Appalachian Shale played a significant factor in delivering the presidency to Trump. As politicians strategize and plan future announcements, voters will continue to elect pro-energy leaders in the Appalachian Basin to further cement the growth of the local economies and ensure jobs remain for years to come. Whoever is elected governor in the Tri-State Region will hopefully work with the industry to make sure to keep the industry flourishing.