Oil and gas companies in the Midwestern region are reshaping their business models in response to surging production from shale gas and tight oil production in the United States, and the federal government’s decision to impose a moratorium on drilling in the region.
The boom in drilling has pushed the value of oil and gas assets in the Midwest up by more than $2.6 trillion in the past decade, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
That means that more than half of the country’s $9.3 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) is now based in the states.
The boom has also put more than 30 million people at risk of poverty, with more than 9 million people living in the poorest 50 states, according the Center for American Progress.
But it’s not just the oil and natural gas companies that are investing in the future of the region, it’s also the broader public and government that is shifting their attention to the region’s economic future.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is leading the way, with a $2 million gift to a Michigan nonprofit, the Michigan State Chamber of Business, to help build a pipeline that will connect the region to the Gulf Coast.
“This is a state that has an incredible talent pool, a tremendous ability to attract and attract talent,” said Gary S. Kline, the chamber’s president and CEO.
“We’re not seeing any shortage of talent.
It’s not like the rest of the world.”
Michigan State University President James P. McGarvey and other business leaders, as well as community leaders, are helping Michigan craft a state plan to help revitalize the region and create jobs.
“Michigan is a region that needs the most investment,” said McGarvin.
“It needs infrastructure and it needs infrastructure for innovation and development.”
Michigan’s Chamber of Enterprise, Technology and Innovation, which represents about 400 companies and 100,000 employees, has given Michigan State a $500,000 grant to develop a statewide transportation plan to connect to the gulf coast.
The Michigan Chamber of Industry is also working to improve the region by helping with local manufacturing and supporting the creation of local jobs.
Michigan State’s economic development office is working with the Chamber of Science, Technology, Engineering and Arts to develop the regionwide economic strategy.
The state’s economic impact team will be responsible for helping Michigan State to attract more companies to the state and for creating jobs and job growth.
The U. S. Chamber is also partnering with the Greater Detroit Area Chamber of Governments, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to help fund a series of programs aimed at job-creation and economic development in the Greater City of Detroit.
“We have the most powerful labor unions in the country,” said Kline.
“The state’s unions are going to be a big part of our plan.
We are not going to let Detroit die.”
For more on the state’s development plan, read our feature on the Midwest boom and our full coverage of the Gulf oil boom.