The shale gas plays occurring in Ohio and Pennsylvania have a few differences, the most obvious being the oil and wet gas rich Utica Shale versus the dry gas of the Marcellus. Both also present potentially huge opportunities for economic development, job creation and energy independence for our nation. Accordingly, one would expect Mansfield, Ohio (county seat of Richland County, which had a population of 124,475 in 2010) and Mansfield, Pennsylvania (county seat of Tioga County, which had a population of 41,981 in 2010) to make for almost mirror images of each other, yet as we sat down together awhile back, we realized there was a world of difference in more than just the makeup of natural resources below our feet.
Mansfield, Ohio, is obviously the big sister in the relationship, given the size of the counties, so one might naturally expect it to demonstrate more horsepower, but if that’s correct they must be using the Old Gray Mare. Two communities with the same name and similar opportunities, couldn’t be experiencing a more different reality. So why is it that Mansfield, Pennsylvania is thriving while Mansfield, Ohio is struggling to keep businesses open? Read on to see a comparison of these two communities.