HANOVERTON, Ohio (WKBN) — Congressman Bill Johnson held a roundtable discussion on the natural gas industry in Ohio Friday.

Johnson met with leaders in the oil and gas industry and took a tour of a gas well in Salineville.

Johnson said there are a few things Congress can do to get people jobs in energy in the region and lower gas prices.

“There are things that this administration can do right now today with permitting, opening up development on public lands, approving export permits,” said Johnson.

He and Tim Ryan condemned energy imports from areas like Russia, Ryan saying in part “I’ve advocated for using these resources as a way to put Ohioans to work, lower prices at the pump, strengthen our country’s energy independence and reduce the influence of bad actors like Russia while supporting our allies in Europe.”

At the roundtable at Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton, Johnson, Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck and George Brown with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy education program talked about ways to keep energy production in the Valley.

“We’re seeing historic pricing at gas stations. The best way to lower those costs is to produce more energy here in Ohio so we can meet the needs of what consumers are facing,” said Brown.

Jackie Stewart with Encino Energy said while they only have one rig in Columbiana County right now, the company expects to be busy in Ohio. The goal is to lower the costs for consumers.

“We’re doing everything we can to bring down the cost of oil and natural gas here at Encino. We’re the largest producer of oil so we really want to see these prices for consumers come down,” said Stewart.

Johnson said he believes with new technology in the industry, companies can address emissions and make natural gas and coal safer and adds renewable energy needs to catch up with the load that fossil fuels currently carry.