Shale play has created 4,000 jobs in the Valley, the chamber asserts

Shale play has created 4,000 jobs in the Valley, the chamber asserts

I am writing in response to a letter published Jan. 19 by Courtney Cousins of Columbus. She raises questions about the actual economic impact of the oil and gas drilling boom in Ohio and suggests that the industry’s so-called temporary jobs aren’t worth the concerns she has with the industry.

Ms. Cousins is among several anti-shale development people who pooh-pooh the jobs being created by the oil and gas industry and its supply chain in Ohio. Well, here are the real facts about the actual economic impact of the oil and gas industry — at least for the Mahoning Valley. To say the least, it’s been a game-changer for our economy.

Since 2010, the Mahoning Valley and adjacent areas have seen at least 4,000 direct and indirect jobs created from shale development and an investment of more than $5 billion.

The chamber has counted 25 job- creation and investment projects related to the oil and gas industry since 2010, when Vallourec Star first announced it would build a new stainless steel pipe mill in the old Brier Hill Works area along U.S. Route 422. Vallourec ultimately spent more than $1 billion on the new advanced manufacturing facility that provides 350 direct jobs and about 1,800 indirect jobs.

The list of oil and gas-related projects that we’ve compiled includes 10 companies that announced supply-chain expansion or attraction projects; six companies expanding or establishing new service operations for the industry; five significant pipeline/processing plant projects; and four investments by oil- and gas- producing companies. The list doesn’t include the many hundreds and thousands of construction jobs created or the number of actual drilling jobs created.

Since the announcements of jobs and investment in the Valley began in 2010, the Youngstown-Warren Metro Area’s jobless rate has fallen from more than 13 percent to about 8 percent.

It’s amazing to me that we still have a small segment of the population making false statements that the industry is not generating jobs. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’m happy to see that most Valley residents support the oil and gas industry because they believe the industry is acting responsibly in protecting the environment and ensuring safety for its workers and because the industry is spurring job growth and investment, the likes of which the Valley hasn’t seen in generations.

Tom Humphries, Youngstown

The writer is president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Gay-marriage supporters will pay

This letter is in comment to a recent editorial in The Vindicator about same-sex marriage and so- called marriage equality.

If it’s unconstitutional to not let same-sex couples get married, then it’s also unconstitutional to not let a man have more than one wife, or to not let a bisexual person have a husband and a wife, and to not let family members marry each other.

If it’s bigotry to be against same-sex marriage, then it’s bigotry to be against any kind of marriage. If we are going to have marriage equality as they call it, then let’s have true marriage equality.

The reason public opinion has changed on gay marriage is because people have fallen away from the truth. There was a time when this subject was never debated because everyone knew it was wrong. But now the morals in our society have gone downhill.

All of the politicians, judges and lawyers who helped legalize it are going to stand before God someday and answer for it.

Steve Blessing, Warren

de Souza should apologize to Irish

Bertram de Souza’s column of Jan. 19 sounds like he’s talking from both sides of his mouth. He starts out by saying he is not comparing Mr. McNally to James “Whitey” Bulger or Vito “Don” Corleone when talking about the five-minute meet and greet for the citizens of Youngstown but then goes on to set the scene from one of the “Godfather” movies, along with saying that residents can kiss his claddagh. He goes on to say “If you don’t know what that is, find someone who’s Irish, and he or she will tell you.”

I find these last remarks racist. You can have all the opinions you want, but when you attack someone for their nationality, you have crossed the line and should write an apology to McNally and to the people who read The Vindicator who may be of Irish descent.

Maggie Schumaker, Austintown

Making kids work singles them out

Regarding congressman Jack Kingston’s idea for students to work for their school lunches, a recent letter writer is correct in her opposition.

First it’s very hard on children to be labeled as different. I’m almost 60, and it has never changed. Now with electronic everything, it is worse.

We got free meals back then, but just out of the kindness of cafeteria workers. If you looked hungry, you got fed.

Today if children are not in with clothes, toys, a phone and other material things, they are bullied and treated terribly. It was the same in the ’50s and ’60s, but adults, as well as children, were the bullies.

To have to work for their free meals is saying, look at these kids! It is an idiotic idea. Children should learn from age 5 up about how to pick up after themselves, share, be kind and obey parents.

But pointing out to others that they are different is so wrong.

Alice Burk, Edinburg, Pa.

Why can’t columnist be positive?

On Jan. 19, Bertram de Souza wrote a negative column about our new mayor, John McNally. Our new mayor is having meetings with the public at City Hall, which is something our previous mayors should have done. Mr. de Souza needs to stop comparing Mr. McNally to the Godfather and James Bulger.

Mr. McNally has two little girls, a wife and a host of family and friends who have to hear this nonsense. He had all charges against him dropped while a commissioner, is a great family man and a good friend of mine. Mr. de Souza needs to start his column off on a positive note once in a while.

Anthony Naples Jr., Youngstown

Tell Congress to vote ‘No’ on TPP

If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans can come together on and fight against, it’s the Trans Pacific Partnership. The TPP is just another NAFTA but on a much larger scale. NAFTA has caused huge job losses by allowing American businesses to relocate in Mexico for cheap wages.

A friend of mine, John Beveridge, and I have worked together for over 15 years to have NAFTA repealed or at least amended to benefit the American work force. We worked together on another so-called free trade agreement called the Free Trade Area of the Americas. We contributed a small part in its defeat but I’m proud to say that small part helped stop the loss of a lot more American jobs.

The trouble with TPP and NAFTA is that Congress and President Obama both think that these job-killing and sovereignty- destroying agreements are good for the U.S.; nothing could be further from the truth. Do we really want TPP tribunals overruling our court system on issues that pertain to trade? Do we really want communist Vietnam as a trading partner? American businesses would still have to be regulated by the EPA, FDA and OSHA but foreign businesses would operate unimpeded. Is that fair trade?

We have to wake up our representatives and senators and tell them to vote “No” on the TPP when it comes up for a vote and they definitely have to vote “No” on fast- track authority, which means no debate.

It takes 15 minutes to write a short letter stating your opposition to the TPP. It does make a difference, believe me.

Bud McKelvey, Hermitage