After a review process lasting over two years, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has finally approved construction of the Rover Pipeline and set the project on to operation. This much-anticipated decision was welcomed by the 8,000 businesses represented by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce because our members understand that what's best for Ohio's economy is what's best for Ohioans. The Rover Pipeline is sure to be the ultimate economic stimulus package.
Similarly, the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is equally devoted to ensuring that businesses and entrepreneurs in the Appalachia region are equipped with all they need to operate, thrive, and continue being the backbone of this incredible community. They too know that the Rover project will bring prosperity and growth to the region's economy.
In 2015, Ohio's GDP totaled out at over $608 billion, making it the seventh largest state economy in the U.S. The funds generated from projects like Rover are at the core of these numbers, creating millions of dollars of economic activity seemingly overnight.
In total, the Rover Pipeline project will contribute over $1 billion of direct spending to the U.S. economy and create over 10,000 jobs for American workers. Between 4,500 and 6,500 of those jobs will be created right here in Ohio. The state's current unemployment rate is roughly 4.7 percent, already a very impressive number well below the national average, and Rover is bound to reduce it even further.
Once finished, Rover will travel approximately 710 miles, including roughly 570 miles through Ohio and 26 miles through Carroll County. It will transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day, all domestically produced, from processing facilities in nearby West Virginia and Pennsylvania to the Midwest Hub in Defiance. From there, over 65 percent of the gas will be carried by other existing pipelines to markets across the country.
With so much of the Rover Pipeline running through Ohio and the Hub in Defiance being such a critical part of the pipeline's operation and functionality, nearly $135 million of the anticipated $147 million in annual property taxes will be collected by the state of Ohio.
Pipeline officials have also committed to manufacture over 75 percent of the pipeline's materials here in the U.S., which is sure to benefit Ohio's substantial manufacturing sector that accounts for nearly 18 percent of total output and employs over 12.5 percent of the state's total workforce.
Incidentally, as the 8th largest consumer of natural gas in the country, Ohio businesses and residents alike will benefit from access to this new steady stream of reliable and affordable energy with which to power their homes and businesses, including the residents and businesses of Carroll County.
During last year's presidential campaigns, Americans received promises from nearly every candidate to revive the economy and bring jobs back to areas of the U.S. still struggling from the recession. Whether or not President Trump, or any one candidate for that matter, can really guarantee to accomplish such a task is always uncertain. However, what is absolutely undeniable is the substantial economic impact that private industry can have once government gets out of the way. I have no doubt that the Rover Pipeline will soon prove this fact once more and become the economic savior of Ohio, Carroll County, and the amazing Ohioans residing in both.
Rutledge is executive director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. Frymier is director of energy and environmental policy at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.