A disappearing industry in Lorain, Ohio

David Brancaccio Jan 16, 2015
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A disappearing industry in Lorain, Ohio

David Brancaccio Jan 16, 2015
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On Friday, the International Energy Agency predicted that non-OPEC oil producers will slow the growth of their production this year. There’s also news the oil services company Schlumberger will cut 9,000 jobs.

To get some perspective on what this means at a local level, just look at the town of Lorain, Ohio, west of Cleveland. Once economically distressed, jobs poured in at the U.S. steel plant in Lorain to make pipes for domestic shale oil production. Now, crude oil is trading at less than half the price it was in June, and Lorain’s mayor, Chase Ritenauer, is seeing the effects.

Says Ritenauer, “U.S. Steel, what they do is driven by the price of crude oil. As crude oil prices have gone down, the demand from their customers for the steel, for the drilling, for the shale exploration, has gone down.” Now, there’s word that 600 workers at Lorain’s steel plant, nearly everyone, will lose their jobs.

“It illustrates the global economy, and how the global economy can impact Lorain, Ohio pretty dramatically,” says Ritenauer.

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