Morgan County Herald. The following information is the first article, of a series of articles, about Shale Crescent USA’s plan to bring an estimated 100,000 manufacturing jobs, over the next eight years, to the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Shale Crescent USA Director Greg Kozera says his company has a goal of creating many high paying jobs for the Mid-Ohio Valley (MOV), and he wants to tell Morgan County Herald readers about it.
Kozera explains that a little over two years ago, while at an energy conference in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe was clearly excited about planned pipelines that would bring Marcellus and Utica gas to eastern Virginia.
Gov. McAuliffe said, “We will use the natural gas in these pipelines to bring manufacturing jobs to eastern Virginia.”
Kozera said, after hearing what the governor said, “It hit me like a ton of bricks. That is Ohio’s, Pennsylvania’s and West Virginia’s gas that Virginia will be using! Why can’t we use our own abundant natural gas to create manufacturing and petrochemical jobs here instead of sending them out of state like we did for decades with timber and coal?”
About the same time as the governor’s speech, a group of community leaders in the MOV realized the same thing about OH and WV natural gas leaving the states instead of being used to create manufacturing and petrochemical jobs. They decided to do something about it. They formed Shale Crescent USA, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization to brand the region and promote the Mid-Ohio Valley. The vision of Shale Crescent is to enhance the quality of life and standard of living for the people of the Mid-Ohio Valley by encouraging manufacturers to come and use the cheapest and most abundant natural gas in the industrialized world.
Shale Crescent realized that oil and natural gas had created prosperity for the Mid-Ohio Valley on two prior occasions. The first was in the late 1800s with the discovery of shallow, abundant oil and natural gas fields in Ohio and West Virginia. Much of the early industries including the glass industry and the early petrochemical industry developed during this time.
The second boom happened after World War II. The long-haul pipelines built during the depression and World War II brought natural gas from the gulf coast into the region. This created the manufacturing and petrochemical boom of the 1950s, 60s and early 70s.
Following the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s and the “energy crisis” we experienced until 2010, many of these companies left to go overseas or to the Gulf Coast where energy was more accessible, abundant and lower cost. This created “the rust belt.” The remnants of this boom are still evident today with many of the factories being repurposed or standing vacant.
But the world has changed again. Not only is the Marcellus and Utica the largest natural gas field in the world, it has also accounted for almost ALL of the recent growth in U.S. natural gas production. In 2010, the northeast provided just three percent of the U.S. natural gas supply. That number now exceeds 30 percent and by 2020, is projected to be 35 percent.
“We believe we are on the verge of another growth boom for the MOV. For businesses that are already here, we believe that it is important for them to know that they have some unique competitive advantages. We believe that they are in the right place at the right time to grow, prosper and create more local jobs,” says Kozera. “This area has the lowest natural gas prices in the industrialized world, access to plenty of water for processing and transportation and access to over half of the U.S. population within a days drive. These things will mean more jobs for the Mid Ohio Valley.”
By Mark Faulhaber