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Continue to support energy, manufacturing

DEAR EDITOR:

Manufacturing and construction — industries that not only built the Valley, but built up America — had a substantial impact on the election.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan rightly acknowledged this during his campaign, and he has championed across the Valley, the importance of southeast Ohio’s natural gas production. This production helped transform our region and country in ways unimaginable. It’s not just the fact that 5,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion of liquefied natural gas we export. It’s not just the fact we are developing new markets in Europe and Asia for our exports. And it’s not just the fact that increased energy production has greatly contributed to the energy security of our nation.

The simple truth is that increased energy production is continuing to create new opportunities across our region. It is supporting the expansion of our steel industry as evidenced by Vallourec’s historic investment in Youngstown. It is supporting the construction and completion of multiple natural gas-fired power plants. The Lordstown Energy Center alone brought $900 million of investment here and provided construction jobs to close to 900 workers. And it is supporting a resurgence in manufacturing. Across the state businesses have saved upward of $34.1 billion on their energy bills as a direct result of lower natural gas costs.

Lower energy costs, coupled with our skilled workforce, are a significant competitive advantage for the Valley and our region. Being cost competitive allows companies like Lordstown Motors and Ultium Cells, the joint venture between GM and LG Chem, to invest in our communities and create careers building the next generation of trucks and electric batteries.

And all this is occurring while we are leading the world in emission reductions!

It’s not hard to imagine a future where the steel made by Vallourec is used to produce natural gas in southeast Ohio, which is then turned into electricity at the Lordstown Energy Center and used to charge the battery in a Lordstown Motors Endurance truck.

That’s the power of Ohio energy and the reason we need congressmen like Ryan to continue his support of energy and manufacturing, not only here but in Washington, with the new administration.

CHRIS VENTURA

Consumer Energy Alliance

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