Columbus is host to the National Hockey League All Star game this week-end. The NHL showcase will bring thousands fans and visitors to the city as well as international media attention.
John Kasich: Energy Companies May Be Using Out Of State Workers
Gov. John Kasich has joked several times about the people he wants to see working with the oil and gas industry in Ohio â€“ including in his State of the State speech in February.
â€œ The energy companies I told them, we donâ€™t want foreigners working on our well heads, those are people from West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Oklahoma, okay? We want Ohioans on the well head, ” Kasich said.
But Kasich said heâ€™s concerned that out of state employees are being brought in to work with the drillers.
â€œSo you could have the situation where we are not getting the jobs, they are taking the resources and all of their profits and they are heading home. That is not acceptable to me. Now we donâ€™t have the conclusive evidence that this is happening yet but I want you to know and I want all of the companies to know that this is an extremely serious matter and we expect them to be responsive to the people of this state.â€
Tom Stewart is the executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. He says the oil and gas companies have invested over $3 billion in Ohio, and because theyâ€™re moving quickly, they need to bring in workers who can handle the jobs right away.
â€œYouâ€™re talking about an industry that is reaching the pinnacle of technological advances in oil and gas. Itâ€™s equivalent to drilling oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico. You just donâ€™t hire people whoâ€™ve had two weeks of training and put them on this rig. You hire people who are equipped and ready to do this kind of job and you get them from where they can be supplied to.â€
And Stewart says Ohioans are building hotels, restaurants and other businesses to serve the workers with the oil and gas drillers â€“ so those companies are stimulating the stateâ€™s economy.
â€œThe economic multiplier is creating jobs far, far beyond what weâ€™re registering just today. We need to encourage people. We need to quit talking about investigating that, ” said Stewart.
Kasich has proposed an increase in the severance tax that oil and gas drillers would pay, which the industry has strongly opposed.