In case you've had your head in the sand the past few months, you're aware of the vast amounts of natural gas reserves discovered in western Pennsylvania and New York and eastern Ohio. It is now estimated that the United States could be sitting on more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil.
The gas under Ohio alone is worth billions and billions of dollars. The Plain Dealer reported on a study that says that tapping into the Utica shale would produce over 200,000 jobs in Ohio. We are already seeing some job growth related to shale exploration in Ohio. The expansion at Lorain's Republic Steel will help fill the need for steel needed for gas wells. In Youngstown, Vallourec is investing hundreds of millions into new steel plants and will hire hundreds of workers to provide the miles of steel pipe that will be needed.
Obviously, the vast amounts of gas just waiting to be tapped under Ohio is good news to everyone, right?
Wrong. Barack Obama has yet again put his loyalty to extreme environmentalists ahead of creating jobs for Ohioans. It's absolutely incredible that in this time of high unemployment, that he would do anything to impede and delay job creation. Yet, that's exactly what he is doing, and Senator Sherrod Brown has voiced his support for those same job-killing policies. Brown isn't ranked as the Senate's most liberal member for nothing, folks.
Two weeks ago, Ohio's Wayne National Forest, managed by Obama's Department of Agriculture, put on indefinite hold the auction for drilling rights on the 3,300 acres of federal land, even though oil and gas wells have been operating there for years. Why? Because they are caving to extremists who oppose the further exploration of any fossil fuels at all. Did the administration consider the economic impact of their decision? No, it was "not taken into account."
While Josh Mandel has called for Wayne's managers to reverse their decision, Sherrod Brown voiced his support for the delay.
“Unlike what some say, this was not a Washington bureaucrat who made this decision,” Brown told NPR. “These are local people living and working in southeast Ohio who know more about southeast Ohio than some politician out of Cleveland knows about southeast Ohio.”Wrong, Senator. The people of southeast Ohio want the jobs that will result from tapping the Utica shale. Local newspapers, such as the Intelligencer, have echoed Josh Mandel and called for the rejection of the moratorium Brown supports.
If drillers are told they cannot use the most efficient methods available to get gas in Ohio, they will simply move their rigs elsewhere. The Buckeye State will miss out on a boost to the economy such as already has benefited many in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.This isn't the first time Sherrod Brown has sided with the environmental fringe. When Obama couldn't get his horrible cap and trade bill past Republicans and Democrats in Congress, he decided to go around the legislative branch entirely and have the EPA regulate CO2 as a pollutant, even though without CO2, all life on earth would cease to exist. An amendment was brought up in the Senate to block the EPA from doing this. Brown voted against it. Further, Sherrod Brown has repeatedly voiced his opposition to drilling for more of our own domestic oil.
A variety of studies of fracking and other technologies used in gas and oil drilling already have been completed. To date none has cited any particular danger from the practice.
Josh Mandel stands with the majority of Americans who believe we should be exploring more of our country's own vast energy reserves, leading to millions of more jobs and less dependence on imported oil. Sherrod Brown couldn't be more opposite. When he has to choose between his far-left environmentalist financiers and American energy production, he chooses the extremists every time.
Next year, we Ohioans have the chance to replace Brown with someone who will put Ohio jobs and energy production first. Let's hope we take the opportunity to rid ourselves of the most liberal Senator in the country.