The Dayton Daily News reports that natural gas trapped in two shale formations beneath Ohio could mean thousands of new jobs, if activity in other states is any indication.
Pennsylvania,which sits on one of the same shale formations as Ohio, saw gas and oil industries hire 72,000 new people from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011.
The newspaper reports that a series of announcements in the last week, including $750 million in land leasing by the Hess Corp. for possible drilling, shows that Ohio is on the cusp of an oil and gas boom.
State parks and other lands in Ohio will be opened to oil and gas drilling under a bill that has passed the state Senate on Wednesday.
The Senate voted 22-10 on the legislation that sets up a commission to oversee oil and gas leasing. It also requires state agencies to create property inventories that could yield potential drilling sites.
The House has passed the bill, but would have to agree to the Senate's changes before it could go to the governor's desk.