Decrease in Ohio Shale jobs

Shale jobs have been decreasing for several years. According to the latest data, there were only about half as many core jobs, such as drilling and pipeline construction, as there were three years earlier (1). At under 10,000, job creation is a small fraction of the Chamber of Commerce prediction of 60,000 (2)

Only part of the difference between prediction and reality can be attributed to auxiliary jobs, such as truck driving. Since Jobs and Family Services (1) only has the total number of truck drivers, they assign those drivers to shale jobs, even the unknown number working for FedEX and other companies. Therefore the tens of thousands reported auxiliary jobs (1) are likely to be greatly exaggerated.


(1) Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Ohio Shale Quarterly Reports,, accessed 21 April 2017.

(2) Ohio Chamber of Commerce Educational Foundation; Economic Potential for Shale Formations in Ohio, n. d.

Renewable Energy Does Not Harm Stock Performance

There are still office holders who cling to the notion of expensive renewable energy, buttressed by questionable web sites.

There is a line of argument that I have not seen used: companies, such as Google and Amazon, have made major commitments to renewable energy. These are publically-traded firms. If renewable energy was so expensive, Wall Street would be shouting loudly and hammering their stock down. This has not happened.

Green Energy has Created More Jobs in Ohio than Shale

Update of 12 Sept. 2015 posting:

The following quote from the latest Ohio shale jobs survey makes one wonder why the state is pushing shale and discouraging renewables, which provide many more jobs:

“Employment (2011 Q4 to 2014 Q4) … • Core shale-related industry employment (such as pipeline construction and well drilling) was up 7,207 (96.6 percent). • Ancillary shale-related industry employment (such as freight trucking and environmental consulting) increased 8,463 (5.0 percent)”.(a)

Comment: Total shale jobs created since the end of 2010 is 20,064which is far short of the Chamber of Commerce prediction of 65,680.(b)   At the same time there are 89,000 green energy jobs in the state(c) – over four times as many and up 58,000 since 2012(d).


(a) Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; Ohio Shale, Quarterly Economic Trends for Ohio Oil and Gas Industries, July 2015;

(b) Ohio Chamber of Commerce Educational Foundation; Economic Potential for Shale Formations in Ohio, n. d.

(c) Environmental Entrepreneurs; “Clean Jobs Ohio”, May 2015;

(d) State of Ohio,  Ohio Alternative Energy Job Survey Analysis February 2013,

Solar Farm Area

There is concern that the proposed AEP solar construction in SE Ohio will occupy too much land. At 75kW per sq. ft., the 400 MW project will occupy about one sq. mi. SE Ohio has plenty of potential sites (e.g. parking lots) and much vacant land. There should be no problem.

Fuel Prices Go Down while Electric Bills Go UP

The table shows that fuel prices for electric generation have been declining the past few years. Fuel costs cannot explain the rise in electric bills.

Fuel PercentX Cost, $/BTUX % Drop in  cost
Jan. 2009 Peak since 2009 Current

(Sept. 2015)

Since 2009 Since Peak
Coal 67 2.30 2.49 (Feb. 2012) 2.12 8 15
Natural Gas 18 6.30 7.33 (Jan. 2010) 2.19 65 70


X: Percent of Ohio electricity provided by each fuel in 2014.  Energy Information Administration reports costs in terms of energy per dollar to facilitate comparison (1).


(1) Energy Information Administration, Electric Data Browser,

Renewable Energy has Little Impact on a State’s Economy

Arguments against state-mandated renewable-energy goals usually focus on cost. The claim is that renewables are too expensive. But rapidly falling costs of wind and solar power have made this argument tenuous. Instead, attention is now shifting to claims that renewables somehow hurt a state’s economy.

Such arguments are difficult to credit, since renewable energy is a very small part of any state’s economy. Consider Iowa. Last year wind produced almost 30 percent of Iowa’s electricity, which sold at a total price of about $1.3 billion. This is a large sum, but Iowa’s gross domestic product was about $170 billion. Wind accounted for 0.8 percent of that total.

Put another way, a $1.3 billion impact on the Iowa economy is about the same as a fifty-cent change in the price of corn, well within its price variability.

Ohio, and neighboring states, have much smaller percentages of renewable energy. It is unlikely that estimating the effect of the mandate on state economies is within the range of economic analysis.


Electricity data from Electric Power Monthly for Feb. 2015;

GDP from$-a-na-fed-data.html

Corn production from

Corn prices from

Ohio Gas Facts

My periodic reminder that Ohio is a small player in natural gas production. As of July, 2015 we are ninth among the states, producing about three percent of the national total. Our oil production is less than one percent of the national total. This is not to deny that our progress has been impressive. 2014 saw our previous natural gas record from 1984 broken spectacularly by a factor of 2.6. To follow production go to:

We still import about half of the natural gas that we use. For consumption history go to: Coal is similar; we produce a little more than half of what we consume. See: