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, http://ohiolmi.com/OhioShale/OhioShale.htm, accessed 21 April 2017.
(2) Ohio Chamber of Commerce Educational Foundation; Economic Potential for Shale Formations in Ohio, n. d.
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 20,064, which 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, http://www.lwvohio.org/assets/attachments/file/ODSA%20job%20survey%20(1).pdf
Ohio produced twice as much natural gas last year than it did in 2012. Results so far for this year show another strong increase – gas production in the first quarter was 40 percent of that for the entire year 2013. It sounds like a huge boom until we look at it in perspective:
- Natural gas production in Ohio peaked in the mid-eighties and declined until last year’s strong jump. While production came close to the highest levels, 2013 was only the fourth best year in history.
- Production in our neighboring states is much higher. Pennsylvania produces almost twenty times the natural gas that Ohio does and we would have to triple production to match West Virginia.
- Up through 2012, Ohioans were using much more gas than the state was producing. Production was providing only about 10-15 percent of our needs. While consumption data for 2013 are not yet available, we probably produced about 20 percent of what we consumed last year.
In short, the gas boom has gotten Ohio back to where we were thirty years ago. Perhaps a little tempering of rhetoric is called for.
Data were obtained from EIA and state natural resources web sites.
We have two new technologies in Ohio – horizontal drilling (part of the process commonly called fracking) and wind farms. In some ways they are similar. Both are in rural areas that need the jobs. For both, the state makes the final decision where wells can go and where wind farms can go. Local government has no say in these decisions. But then the differences start. Fracking can take plce 150 feet from the nearest home; for wind the distance is 1250 feet and will be from the nearest property line if the Legislature gets its way.
Other differences are also large. Fracking is best in southeast Ohio, while wind is best in northwest Ohio and along the shores of Lake Erie. Fracking is noisy and dirty; wind is quiet and clean.
While both technologies are used in producing electricity, they have different uncertainties. No one knows when the wind will blow. No one knows what the price of gas will be.
But the most important difference is that, if fracking succeeds we wind up doing things the same old way. If wind succeeds, we wind up doing things in new ways. Sadly, we cheer the candidate who offers change, but rebel when change comes.
1. FRACKING – AN OVERVIEW
League of Women Voters of Ohio
2.BACKGROUND – LWVO WEB SITE
Go to http://lwvohio.org/, Click on “Issues and Advocacy”, then click on “Fracking” on the drop-down menu.
Why Fracking by Al Rosenfield
Fracking: An Issue Brief for LWVO Members by Kristin Vessey
3. Fracking is a NECESSARY Evil
4. USES OF NATURAL GAS
About one-third share each
* Generating electricity -rising
* Industrial applications – rising
* Residential plus Commercial – steady
Residential & Commercial Heating
Energy-efficient Electrical Equipment
Industrial Efficiency Gains
6. ELECTRICITY GENERATION
Fossil fuels – about 70%, unchanged from 1999
Non-Greenhouse Gas Generators
Nuclear – 20%
Renewables – about 12%
Hydroelectric – about 8%
Wind, etc. – about 5%
7. ELECTRICITY- FUTURE PROSPECTS
• NUCLEAR – Current decline; later recovery?
• RENEWABLES – May double in 10 – 15 years
* FOSSIL FUELS – Will likely maintain dominant position for foreseeable future
8. WHY FRACKING
• The alternative of natural gas for electricity is coal
• Gas is probably cleaner than coal
9. Fracking is a Necessary EVIL
10. FRACKING RELEASES NOXIOUS AND UNSAFE MATERIALS INTO THE ENVIRONMENT
11. FRACKING PROBLEMS
• ENVIRONMENTAL (Pollution from noxious and volatile chemicals, Excessive noise)
• INFRASTRUCTURE (Damage to water supply, Damage to roads)
• LOCATION (Proximity to homes, schools, hospitals, etc., Proximity to earthquake faults)
• BOOM and BUST Economy
12. OBSTACLES TO FRACKING CONTROL
• Lack of local control
nbsp; Lack of citizen input into decision making
Industry historically insensitive to the environment
13. THE DILEMMA
• Advocates argue economics
• Opponents argue environment
14. LWVUS RESOLUTION (2010)
“(S)upport and lobby for significant strengthening of appropriate regulation, oversight, inspection,
and penalties associated with the development of fossil fuel resources.”
15. BASIS FOR ADVOCACY
Fracking needs to be done with proper attention to public health and safety
16. LWVO ADVOCACY
• Siting (Locations of operations away from critical areas)
• Regulation (More complete testing and analysis)
• Public Input/Awareness
17. EXAMPLE LWVO ACTIVITIES
Federal: Nuclear Regulatory Commission letter – radioactive material disposal questions
State: Legislative Testimony
Local: E-Mail Distribution
18. WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
• Fracking will continue
• Opposition will continue