Wednesday, July 25, 2012
According to the article, by the year 2000 half of Youngstown, Ohio’s population was gone. Many left due to the 50,000 steel jobs that were lost to cheaper foreign steel, but things are changing and that’s good news for President Obama.
Over the past two years, Youngstown’s unemployment has fallen from 13 percent to 7.4 percent. The drop in unemployment is due to a couple of factors.
Driving the region’s burgeoning economic resurgence are two industries, both of which are already having a significant impact on the presidential race. The first is automotive: A massive General Motors plant in nearby Lordstown, where the Chevrolet Cruze is manufactured, employs thousands. The plant faced potential extinction when GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009; after the company’s Obama administration-assisted reemergence, it restored its third shift.
The second factor is the rise of the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – which boosters believe can replace steel as the region’s economic engine. Fracking entails pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet underground into shale rock formations at high pressure, cracking the shale and releasing the natural gas and petroleum trapped within it. Technological advances over the past decade have made it possible to capture this gas and oil, and there is an awful lot of it to be had: The two dominant shale formations in the region, the Marcellus shale and Utica shale, are believed to hold tens of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.
In a study, The Ohio Shale Coalition estimated that the shale gas industry will bring more than 65,000 jobs to the state.
If Gallup’s polls are accurate, presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, will be hard pressed to swing Ohio’s voters with economic issues alone.
Farm and Dairy, a weekly newspaper located in Salem, Ohio, has been reporting on topics that interest farmers and landowners since 1914.
Through the Shale Gas Reporter, we are dedicated to giving our readers unbiased and reliable information on shale gas development.