Ohio, W.Va., Pennsylvania combine efforts on gas development

By Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press

Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have agreed to cooperate — rather than compete — in attracting shale-gas development and jobs to their region over the next three years.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have agreed to cooperate — rather than compete — in attracting shale-gas development and jobs to their region over the next three years.

The states signed an agreement Tuesday during the Tri-State Shale Summit in Morgantown, West Virginia. They agreed to coordinate marketing efforts, workforce development, investment strategies and academic research as they capitalize on Utica and Marcellus shale development "in an environmentally sound manner."

Shale gas has become available through the horizontal drilling practice commonly known as fracking.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said challenges and opportunities surrounding the industry "do not recognize state lines," so collaboration is essential.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the three states have had 85 percent of the increase in U.S. natural gas production since January 2012.

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