What a ban on fracking really means for Ohio

Ohio’s abundant shale gas and oil resources are transforming the domestic energy scene. The Ohio Chamber will continue to work to ensure state regulations on oil and gas activity are sensible, fair and allow businesses to be good environmental stewards. While Ohio is seen as a leader in the United States’ energy renaissance, anti-growth environmental groups and politicians remain persistent in launching attacks on hydraulic fracturing and the benefits it bring to all Ohioans.

When the phrase “ban fracking” is thrown around, the true economic consequences of such a devastating policy decision are not discussed. To quantify just how destructive this anti-science position would be to both Ohio and the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce modeled the effects of a theoretic ban on fracking in the United States, beginning on January 1, 2017 and running through 2022.

As a state particularly well situated to benefit from several shale plays, Ohio is in a position to fuel an economic resurgence powered by affordable and reliable domestic sources of energy, with many of these benefits already flowing to Ohio’s communities. Ohio would be particularly devastated by efforts to reduce or stop oil and gas extraction activities. The U.S. Chamber’s report found that by 2022, 400,000 fewer jobs would exist and Ohio households would see a $6 billion reduction in their household income from the start. By 2022, that loss in income would grow by 250 percent to $21 billion out of the pockets of Ohioans every year.

Nationwide, the United States would lose 3.9 million jobs in the first year alone, with this figure rising to 14.8 million jobs lost by 2022. Natural gas prices would surely rise if hydraulic fracturing was no longer allowed, causing U.S. households to pay nearly double for their electricity. The average American household would find their living expenses increased by close to $4,000 per year by 2022.

Clearly the United States cannot afford to relinquish its hard earned spot as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, but this is exactly what politicians and fringe environmental groups seek to do when they foolishly push to “keep it in the ground.” Our nation has for years made a bipartisan policy commitment to discover and support domestic sources of energy. Now that the vision has become reality, policy makers must realize that by hampering the energy renaissance they are inflicting economic hardship on Americans.