Shale gas fuels change in US swing states
The shale revolution is spreading into eastern Ohio, bringing with it the possibility of reviving an economy that has faltered since industrial jobs left the region.
Although large-scale production is not expected to start until next year, the industry’s potential is already causing excitement in Youngstown, which has struggled for two decades to overcome the loss of its heavy industrial base.
Paul Sracic, at Youngstown State University, says the intense focus on shale development has the potential to make energy a big issue in what is the country’s key swing state. “Blue-collar voters were never that sold on environmental issues, and if some Democrats come across as not keen on economic development, it could lose them support here in Ohio,” he said.
Already, the boom in gas production in neighbouring Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale has created an estimated 2,000 jobs in the past 18 months in businesses providing services and equipment such as steel pipes. Vallourec of France has invested $650m to open a new steel mill in Youngstown.
Mais au Québec le gaz de schiste on n’a pas besoin de ça. Nous sommes déjà très riches…