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.