A leader of a lobbying organization said Friday the future for oil and natural gas industries is bright in Ohio.
The industry is growing in all aspects with the possibility endless for job growth and economic development for communities associated with the industry, said Christian Zeigler, executive director for the American Petroleum Institute.
The institute has more than 600 members in the country with about 25 of those in Ohio or who own assets in the state, Zeigler said.
Zeigler spends a lot of time lobbying lawmakers at Ohio’s statehouse. The rest of the time, he’s advocating for the industry and helping to educate people about the industry.
In Lima, British Petroleum and Marathon Petroleum are members of the institute.
The group also is out to disprove all the misconceptions of hydraulic fracturing, which has national groups rushing to communities to oppose it, he said.
Communities that have hydraulic fracturing have good-paying jobs and realize the method is a safe way to pull natural resources, he said.
“We support clean air and water,” Zeigler said.
Jobs in the industry pay an average of $71,000 a year compared to a statewide average of $44,000 in Ohio, he said.
About 63 percent of those jobs are blue collar, such as plumbers and pipefitters, who typically have gone to a two-year college. There also are engineers who are among the higher paid, he said.
The future of the industry in Ohio is up to its leaders and its people, he said.
“It’s going to be up to the communities who have taken a proactive approach,” he said.
Oil and natural gas development touches numerous businesses in the state from extracting to the stores that sell gasoline. There’s also hundreds of ancillary businesses that benefit by doing business with companies directly in the industry, Zeigler said.
By Greg Sowinski - The Lima News, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio)
Visit The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) at www.limaohio.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services