As I travel the state of Ohio discussing my pro-energy, pro-jobs agenda, I have spent a considerable amount of time in areas that will benefit economically from increased domestic energy production. The natural resources we have in Ohio are an opportunity for win-win-win: job creation, lower energy prices, and reducing our country’s dependence on foreign oil. To benefit from the resources our state has been blessed with in a safe and responsible manner, we need to send leaders to Washington who put what is best for Ohio first.
The U.S. Senate recently voted to uphold the expensive Utility MACT rule and burdensome Environmental Protection Agency regulations, two examples of how bureaucrats in Washington are out of touch with what is best for energy production and job creation in Ohio. The EPA’s “war on coal” threatens more than 2,000 jobs of Ohioans that work in or around the coal industry. Last week, the Ohio Valley Coal Company announced that it is laying off workers because “the excessive and unnecessary regulatory actions of the Obama Administration have disrupted our mining operations and taken away much of the market for our coal. In turn, this will drive up electricity costs for everyone and increase the cost of goods for American citizens.”
While we need leaders in Washington to protect coal industry jobs, we also need leaders who recognize the benefits of maximizing our country’s potential in other areas of energy production to help build a sustainable future. The Marcellus and Utica shale formations beneath Ohio can immediately benefit local landowners and communities with an influx of jobs and increased economic activity. Before this can happen, artificial barriers to drilling must be removed at the federal level and a better understanding of the advancements in drilling and hydraulic-fracturing safety must be made to the public.
Educating the public about the benefits of hydraulic fracturing begins with debunking the misleading information special interest groups use to distort the process. Critics falsely claim that hydraulic fracturing will lead to groundwater pollution, air pollution, and an increased risk of cancer. Yet scientific research on shale exploration and investments in innovative technology has disproved the claims of those who try to use fear to prevent progress.