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Economy and Business

Kasich talks jobs in Lordstown
Governor wants to secure state's current jobs before attempting to add more

Kabir Bhatia
Gov. Kasich is pleased with the Cruze's presence in Lordstown, but said "when part of Ohio bleeds, the whole state bleeds," referring to GM plant closings in Dayton and Mansfield.
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
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In The Region:

On Tuesday, Governor John Kasich made his first visit to Northeast Ohio since taking office, touring the GM plant in Lordstown. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia has more...

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Lordstown is a place that former Governor Ted Strickland celebrated as a sign of Ohio’s economic recovery. But his successor says GM’s 350 million dollar investment in the assembly plant is too rare in the Buckeye state. John Kasich says other major areas need stabilization before job growth reaches the level that the state needs.

One area being explored is natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale, which lies beneath eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia. Some groups worry about the environmental impact of the method used to extract the gas. Fracking blasts water, sand and chemicals underground to fracture rocks and free the gas, and opponents maintain it could contaminate drinking water.

But Mahoning Valley landowners are being deluged with offers to lease their land for oil and gas rights. And Kasich calls the shale drilling -- quote – “a Godsend” for the state. He says a preliminary report shows very good results in one test well, which could be a boon for job creation.

Kasich has suggested opening up state park land for oil and gas drilling.
As for other economic development, the Republican governor insists that at least two of the Big Three automakers told him in private meetings in Detroit earlier this month that doing business in Ohio is prohibitive due to unions, taxes and energy costs.
Kasich was saying little on this trip, though, about his biggest economic plan: transferring control of economic development initiatives from the state Department of Development to a private board of executives. A bill to set up the new board was introduced in the Ohio House yesterday (Tuesday). It would exempt the board and its employees from public records and open meetings laws.
Kasich says Ohio needs the flexibility of a private board to respond quickly to the needs of business.

Kasich would chair the private panel. The Republican-controlled House and Senate are expected pass the bill as early as next month.

Listener Comments:

I can't believe that Mr. Kasich is so eager to jump into something so dangerous, yet worked so hard on refusing to build an already funded high speed rail system. Does he not understand that John D Rockefeller's success was built upon his ability to MOVE the supply chain? Remember, the HORSE goes BEFORE the CART! Our Ohio NEEDS the improved infrastructure. Do something positive Mr. Kasich. Don't do something our Ohio will have to suffer from for a long time. Take a lesson from BP's oil spill. At least that was far away. I hate to use the tried and true, but, NOT IN MY BACK YARD!!!!

Posted by: Theresa Edelman (Waynesville, Ohio) on January 29, 2011 2:01AM
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