Four Ohio congressmen spent Thursday morning at EnerVest well being drilled in Bethlehem Township. It was part of an energy tour by the House Energy Action Team organized by House Republicans.
Four Ohio congressmen got a close look Thursday morning at what many hope will be the state’s and the nation’s energy future.
Republican congressmen Jim Renacci, 16th District, Bob Gibbs, 18th District, Bill Johnson, 6th District, and Bob Latta, 5th District, toured a well pad where EnerVest Energy is drilling a horizontal well into the Utica shale. EnerVest is confident the well will produce natural gas liquids and oil.
The tour was part of an national energy tour House Republicans had today, with members of the House Energy Action Team. The tour is a bid by Republicans to promote domestic energy production and work toward an “all-of-the-above” energy plan. According to GOP.gov, the website for the Republican majority in Congress, “House Republicans are committed to reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources to create jobs at home and lower gas prices for hard-working American taxpayers.”
The congressmen toured the EnerVest drilling site with some of the company’s investors. The tour was closed to the press. The elected officials met with reporters afterward.
Johnson led the congressional delegation and said the county has a wealth of natural resources that needs to be tapped.
All four congressmen noted that oil drilling in eastern Ohio and other parts of the country is creating jobs around the state, especially in Northeast Ohio’s steel mills. “We’ve seen a resurgence of manufacturing in Ohio,” Johnson said.
Renacci noted that environmental safety is a concern, but added that Ohio’s regulations are being cited as a model for other states. “We just have to keep looking at making sure we’re environmentally safe. But at the same time we have to look at the jobs,” he said.
Johnson acknowledged that he’s concerned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency might try to impose regulations on drilling. He believes the regulations should remain with the states and noted that in Ohio, industry officials worked with legislators on regulations.
“Millions of dollars are being invested in these shale rigs here and they want to make sure things are done right,” Johnson said.