Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced recently that it believed the 1.25 million acres it has leased in eastern Ohio contained minerals worth $15 billion to $20 billion, which prompted Ohio Gov. John Kasich to call on his state to support an indigenous drilling industry."I don't want any foreigners working on wellheads," Kasich said in a speech last week. "Foreigners are people who come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky, and those distant foreigners from Texas."
In other words, Ohio is closed for business. Perhaps Kasich should try to grasp some of the fundamentals of labor markets before he opens his big mouth again. Fanning the flames of xenophobia will undermine economic development. It will also buy votes.
Of course, Kasich can't do anything about who staffs the wellheads in Ohio. He is posturing, trying to lower the political resistance to fracking. He'll eat his words at some fundraiser in the near future. Until then, Ohio jobs for Ohio residents. But not a dime for workforce development.