The State of Ohio faces several challenges in the coming years related to energy and economic growth. These challenges are not insurmountable. However, they will require the State and Federal governments to work together to address them promptly. Not only can we address the problems we are facing, but we can dramatically grow the economy of Ohio and that of the 13thdistrict.
Traditionally, this type of planning (energy development) happens in a vacuum chamber within the State and within the Federal government. This planning is the result of too many lawyers in Washington D.C. and not enough people to work together to realize beneficial effects. We need to throw out the vacuum chamber mindset and develop an articulated policy that allows States to play a much more substantive role in their energy future. Ohioans should not just have a say; they should also have a seat at the table during the planning phase.
It is important to remember that we are not a monolithic nation; we are a republic of individual states. As an Ohioan, I realize that what works in California and Texas does not necessarily work in Ohio. Each State has unique needs and has unique resources. The people best to make decisions and choices about a state’s energy future are those who live within their State, not power-hungry bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
I fully support the integration of state-representation within the USDOE (United States Department of Energy). The one-size-fits-all energy program we have been dealing with since the inception of the Department of Energy has not served us well, nor has it benefited Americans. The entire culture of bureaucrats and presidential administrations handing down edicts has resulted in a roller-coaster ride for the energy industry. This ever-changing landscape is not conducive to the long-term business investments needed to develop technologies that will best serve the United States market. Our economy runs on energy, and our prosperity depends on energy.
Identifying the problems at the State and Federal level for Ohio
Energy markets are and will continue to be a natural-macro-market until a disruptive technology can change this. State legislatures artificially imposed micro-energy-markets during the deregulation era; (1995-2005), and they have not benefited Ohioans and the vast majority of Americans. Because of this deregulation, we are burdened with artificially high energy costs. High energy costs hurt our competitiveness in world markets. The results of these costs are borne on the backs of the American workers and American families in reduced wages. We need to rethink deregulation, how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission works, and how ISOs/RTOs (Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations) create energy markets.
Ohio and Pennsylvania contain the Marcellus shale formation, which holds hundreds of years’ worth of natural gas reserves for the United States. The Utica shale play in Ohio is estimated to have a tremendous amount of Natural Gas and Natural Gas liquids and solids that are valuable. Under Ohio’s Lake Erie portion lies another vast and untapped oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas liquids and solids resource. Unfortunately, due to no strategic plan to utilize these resources, we have learned what Texas learned a hundred years ago during their Oil Boom: intelligent design (strategic growth) is much more preferable to organic growth. Organic growth leaves assets stranded and does not make efficient use of natural resources.
Our natural gas development is not what it could be because many legislators in Ohio are seemingly incapable of understanding complex issues and topics. They do not have a business mindset or the best interest of their constituents in mind. We need to reach a consensus with State and Federal legislators on how to develop our natural resources best and match our delivery infrastructure to our natural resources to avoid bottlenecks. We need to implement a campaign of intelligent design for our energy resources.