Collaboration Across State Lines Could Benefit Local Development

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2015 by GROW Licking County

Costs-of-operation are in the forefront of the minds of manufacturing businesses interested in new developments and expansions. Some of the greatest incentives that communities can offer revolve around keeping these costs down, and utilities -a constant expense- can be a great place to help businesses save money.

Unfortunately, sometimes keeping these costs down is restricted by the natural supply and demand model we're all familiar with in addition to other regulatory, or natural barriers.

In a multi-state effort to increase access to natural gas resources and leverage existing assets, representatives from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia met at the Tri State Shale Summit to discuss the future of the shale resources in the Appalachian Basin. Leaders from each state signed a three-year agreement to cooperatively develop strategies that will result in better policies and utilization of the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. These strategies will focus on marketing the region to new businesses, strengthening workforce development programs, encouraging and expanding natural gas and liquids delivery infrastructure, and promoting research through academic institutions.

Licking County businesses are fortunate to be in proximity to the Utica Shale Oil and take advantage of lower utility costs, and progressive agreements such as the Tri State Summit agreement.

Dan McVey, vice president and chief operating officer for The Energy Cooperative's gas operations, summarized the benefits of those partnerships:

"Such a cooperative agreement benefits the tristate region by collaboratively pooling expertise and resources. This will be key for ongoing development of upstream, midstream and downstream infrastructure to utilize shale oil and gas resources. The result will be a combination of energy based, manufacturing and service sector workforce needs.

For Licking County, development of shale resources will encourage manufacturing, construction and enhance the service sectors that support shale development. Almost every industry will benefit from abundant and competitively priced oil and natural gas."

 

While we are still in competition with our regional neighbors, a cross-state partnership such as this benefits all communities in the broader region. Supply chains extend beyond our county borders. While great planning, marketing, and development can help to bring many suppliers to the manufacturers they serve in our communities, some resources -utilities especially- have to come from further distances and are best leveraged when they are cooperatively managed and developed.

For more reading on this subject, visit the links below:

Energy In Depth

The Columbus Dispatch

To view the actual agreement, click here: Tri State Summit Agreement

 

 


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