June 8, 2023

Ohio River Valley’s Story of Recovery

Next week I return to the Ohio River Valley for The New York Times to 1) report on how oil and gas mineral leasing is making thousands of Ohio River Valley working families wealthy, and 2) how new urban development strategies, including a streetcar line and a $1 billion mixed-use riverfront project, are writing a 21st century narrative for Cincinnati’s economy and quality of life. Later this summer, I’ll report on similar trends emerging in …

Fossil Fuel Boom Is One of Several Trends Leading Ohio River Cities Back To Economic Relevance

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted.” Downriver from Louisville, Kentucky, where the 1,000-mile long Ohio River reaches its widest points, and the mirroring waters slip by miles of unbroken hardwood forests, it’s possible to witness some of the very same beauty that inspired Jefferson. The Ohio is much in my …

Along A River of Descent, New Riches in Ohio

SARDIS, Ohio — Frank Ellis, who is a 51-year-old electrician from this Ohio River Valley town, spent much of his time since high school working upriver at the PPG plant in Natrium, West Virginia. He owns 140 acres and the rights to the oil and gas below them. Denny Cowley (in pix below) is a 55-year-old sheet metal worker who was raised on a dairy farm near Canton, Ohio, and 16 years ago bought a …

In New York Times, Cincinnati’s Riverfront Revival

CINCINNATI – The shoreline of this Ohio River city, which thrived in the 19th century with 30 steamboat visits a day and then died in the 20th as pollution and industrial disinvestment pushed people and businesses inland, is emerging again as a new hub of civic and economic vitality. The New York Times published my article on Cincinnati’s riverfront development, more evidence of the Ohio River Valley’s new upward economic vector. The Times piece is …

The U.S. Energy Boom and Ohio in The New York Times

My interest in the Ohio River Valley, as readers of ModeShift well know, is keen. Today, the New York Times published my latest piece about the billions being invested in mineral leasing for oil and gas drilling. Tomorrow, in the NYT Business section, is another piece I did on Cincinnati’s improved economy and surging riverfront development. You may recall this article on Owensboro Kentucky’s improved prospects for the NYT late last year. I did this …

Ohio’s Fossil Fuel Boom Dims Wind and Solar Development

The story of American energy used to be we use too much. There’s not enough. And a technical breakthrough in clean alternatives will save us. How 20th century. The new narrative – really, it’s true — of American energy is this: We’re using less. A national boom in oil and gas production, engulfing 12 states from California to Pennsylvania and North Dakota to Texas, is showing we have much more than we thought. And the …

Fossil Fuel Boom Shakes Ohio, Spurring Torrent of Investment and Worry Over Water

Photo © Heather Rousseau/Circle of Blue WELLSVILLE, OHIO – A torrent of investment in mineral leases, manufacturing plants, pipeline constructiion, and drilling platforms signals what business executives and state energy officials say is the most significant surge in oil and gas development in Ohio in decades. But the development of the Marcellus and Utica shales, two hydrocarbon-rich rock layers that lie beneath much of eastern Ohio, also is producing fresh public concerns about the consequences …

How Crucial Was 2022 Election? Thank You Sane America

BENZONIA – This could have been a miserable Thanksgiving. It’s not. On November 8 sane Americans voted their disapproval for the dreadful politics of MAGA America. Never more so than in Michigan. Even in our three-county corner of the lower peninsula Democrats and sufficient numbers of disgusted Republicans voted to reject election-denying, Trump-supported candidates and re-elect the incumbent Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. Having cast off the psychic weight of election dread, …

Water Could Make Michigan The Place To Be Later This Century

TRAVERSE CITY, MI –Intrigued by warming winters, researchers from the University of Michigan set out in 1989 to formally measure changes in the geographical distribution of plants and animals in the dense pine and hardwood forests of northern Michigan.  Their laboratory, the university’s 10,000-acre Biological Station east of Petoskey, had advanced forestry and natural sciences since the field station’s founding in 1909. Few projects, though, attracted the same level of attention as the migration research.  Completed in …

Amazon Air Fills Skies and Airports With Packages

HEBRON, Ky. – Since the pandemic started nearly a year ago, 15,000 fewer people arrive and depart daily from CVG, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Yet the 60 percent drop in passenger traffic is not nearly so apparent on the four runways, miles of taxiways, and hundreds of acres of concrete apron handling record amounts of air cargo — nearly 4,000 tons a day.  Ranked by the Federal Aviation Administration as the nation’s sixth largest cargo …