When the federal government announced recently that the U.S. economy actually shrank during the first quarter of 2015, people in Northeast Ohio weren’t surprised. The Great Recession hit particularly hard here, and the recovery over the past seven years has been shaky and slow.
Our leaders should be looking for every possible way to boost economic growth. Here’s one idea that would provide surprisingly strong benefits in Ohio and throughout the Midwest: Lift the current ban on U.S. crude-oil exports.
The oil and natural-gas industry supports more than 250,000 jobs in the Buckeye State, according to a recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Allowing oil exports would provide U.S. producers with new markets for the relatively high-quality crude that they are unable to refine here at home, which forces them to sell high-quality crude for below-market prices. Being able to sell that crude at better prices means higher profits, and that leads to more investment and more jobs – and not only jobs at relatively big companies like mine.