A REPORT released by the International Energy Agency this week is one that should be embraced in the Ohio Valley and throughout the nation.
The agency states that drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations will propel the United States past Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer by the end of this decade.
Furthermore, the report states in the next eight years, the U.S. will become a net exporter in natural gas.
Those are major statements, ones that carry limitless economic impact.
Shedding ourselves from the need of foreign oil would be an obvious boon to our national economy. With Mideast tensions always on edge, the less dealings with OPEC nations the better.
Combine a syphoning off of foreign oil dependence with the massive hike in domestic oil and gas production, it only stands to reason the national economy will greatly benefit.
Brightening an already rosy outlook further is that Eastern Ohio is ideally situated to reap the benefits.
Marcellus and Utica shale deposits are deeply rooted in our region. According to experts, the supply is good for decades.
The benefits are already being felt throughout Eastern Ohio in varying degrees. Harrison County, for one, is enjoying a sizable influx of money. Eventually, we hope and believe a financial boon will be felt throughout the tri-state area.
But for the most part, all sections of the Ohio Valley are beginning to feel a positive impact of shale money. If the International Energy Agency is accurate, it is only a matter of time before the local economy takes a major upswing.