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Ohio Governor’s 21st Century Energy and Economic Summit

September 23, 2011

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in the Ohio Governor’s 21st Century Energy and Economic Summit.  The purpose of the summit was to inform the development of a comprehensive State energy policy, which could become a model for the Nation.  In addition to being an attendee, I moderated a panel on “Ohio Manufacturing”.

There’s been a lot of discussion of shale.  Ohio sits over two huge formations, the Marcellus and the Utica.  There has already been well over $2 billion invested in Ohio, and as the formations begin to produce that figure could go up ten-fold.  The most exciting part is the presence of natural gas liquids like ethane, which could invigorate the Ohio plastics industry by providing a low-cost feedstock that makes Ohio plastics more competitive.    

One of the surprising take-aways was that energy intensive manufacturers, who have a vested interest in capturing waste heat and using it to generate power, are not making these investments in co-generation because of certain regulatory restrictions.  The Governor picked up on this and agreed that Ohio needs to do something to enable this.  

It was great to see such a distinguished gathering of leadership from industry, labor, environmental groups, and academia, coming from all over the country to take an interest in Ohio’s energy scene.  I expect great things to follow.