Ohio Treasurer: Washington Targets Ohio Shale Gas

“Job-killers win, American workers lose.”

Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel writes in the Wall Street Journal:

In the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Republic Steel to add 450 jobs to Lorain as oil and gas exploration booms.” This story reported Republic Steel’s announcement of new jobs in one of Ohio’s hardest-hit counties, to manufacture products in support of the state’s growing oil and gas industry.

In the Marion Star: “Ohio national forest halts sale of drilling rights.” This story reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to suspend the auction of leases for oil and gas drilling on more than 3,000 acres of federal land in the most economically depressed region of Ohio.

You might be asking yourself: Why would Washington block drilling in Ohio at the same time that Ohio manufacturers are adding jobs to support the state’s growing oil and gas exploration? Thousands of middle-class families and out-of-work Ohioans are asking that same question…

Adding to the public outrage here is the position taken by Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who this week announced his support of the federal government’s job-killing decision. Even though the vilification of Ohio’s abundant coal, oil and gas disproportionately hurts jobs and energy prices here, Mr. Brown has chosen to side with Washington bureaucrats and fringe extremists in the attacks on our natural resources…

Ohio and the rest of the country face a fork in the road. Down one path lies economic stagnation, a continued slide in American manufacturing, and European-style permanent unemployment. The other path brings us away from recession and back toward America’s place as the world’s undeniable industrial leader. To get there, we need Washington to stop blocking proven jobs in coal, oil and gas—and allow us to maximize these resources for economic strength and national security.

Read Mandel’s commentary (subscription required).

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