To the editor:
Oil and gas companies are coming to the Ohio Valley with the promise of jobs and economic revitalization. Our area is eager to welcome them here, and many feel it's the boost we need. If local workers are used, it will bring in more tax revenue, as local residents are people who live here permanently and will contribute to the property tax base. The government and schools have to have this base to exist properly. The more they receive, the more they are capable of offering.
Local workers spend more money locally, such as on appliances and so forth, because they are not trucking money back home outside state lines. This also makes businesses more profitable and creates more opportunities for new businesses. We have a vast reserve of trained, hard-working, eager and able-bodied workers. There should be no need to import workers from other places.
If local workers are not working, an unwanted cycle is born. If property taxes are not met, the schools, children and, ultimately, the education system as a whole will suffer. When our children suffer, it not only affects us, or even them, but the next generation will suffer as well. In addition, out-of-state workers may put their children in our system without actually contributing to the taxes which support the schools.
When local workers are kept at a distance, it breeds suspicion. So, when these companies come promising local jobs, and they go to people from wherever else, it creates distrust and ill-will from the people whose hopes were falsely raised. Then, there is the consideration of when the drilling is finished, the facilities are built and their workers go home, of who will maintain all of this stuff which was built up. It is in the best interest of the energy companies to hire locally.
The support of the community and organized labor has allowed the opportunity for these energy companies to come in here and profit. One of their main selling points was the jobs that were to be created. We, the community and organized labor, kept our side of the bargain, and now it's their turn. The food and lodging are only a fraction of the revenue that can be generated.
Remember, they have a home in another state to support, so the majority of their money is sent outside of Ohio. If local workers are used, their money is spent here in the area.