81% of 2016 Ohio Valley Investment Came from One Natgas Project

Artist’s rendering of Lordstown Energy Center – click for larger version

We spotted a story that seemed to us like the Ohio Valley was doing some justified bragging about investment in the region during 2016. Recently, the “Youngstown/Warren, Ohio Economic Development 2016 Report Card” was released. The Report Card was a joint effort of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, OhioMeans-Jobs, the cities of Warren and Youngstown, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University. The Report Card found that 111 projects led to a whopping investment of $1.1 billion–in 2016! Or at least you can say, that much money was committed in 2016. Some of the actual spending was made last year, some this year, likely some over the next several years. But hey, let’s not split hairs. This is an achievement to crow about. But when you look at the project list, one project accounts for 81% of the total–the Lordstown Energy Center. The $890 million Lordstown Energy Center is an electric generation plant planned for Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH that will be powered with Utica Shale gas. The project won village approval in the summer of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets Village Approval). It then won state approval in the fall of 2015 (see Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets OH State Approval). The project broke ground in June 2016 (see Lordstown Energy Center Breaks Ground on $890M Electric Plant). Our point: Without deregulated electric markets in Ohio, and without the Utica and Marcellus Shale, the Ohio Valley investment last year would have been, at best, $220 million, not $1.1 billion…

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