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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 08:08 AM

Shale Crescent USA Wants To Rebrand Region

WHEELING — The area has been known by many names — the Upper Ohio Valley, Appalachia, the Rust Belt and Coal Country — in the past, but one organization hopes to rebrand the region in a way that will help it capitalize on its natural gas and other petrochemical reserves.

Greg Kozera wants residents, community leaders and businesses to start using the term “Shale Crescent” when they refer to our area, which is situated atop some of the largest natural gas fields in the world. He presented his ideas Tuesday during a Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce event at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Development and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of those fields began about a decade ago, and those involved in mineral exploration have since determined that the Marcellus, Utica, Devonian and Rogersville shales lie layered beneath our feet. Those shales all contain rich petrochemical deposits that Kozera said could attract a broad variety of industrial interests to the region.

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During his presentation, Kozera showed the audience an image of Tokyo that was filled with skyscrapers and concrete. He had taken the photo while attending an energy conference in Japan earlier this year, and he contrasted that image to his view upon waking Tuesday morning at Oglebay Resort, where trees, rolling hills and wildlife waited right outside his window. He said that natural beauty and the room to live comfortably will attract foreign and domestic companies and workers once the potential of the shale fields is fully realized.

“There are 14 million people in Tokyo,” he said. “They need our energy.”

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