What They’re Saying: Safe, Responsible Marcellus Development Continues to Positively Impact the Region

‘Marcellus Multiplier’ Creating Jobs at Breakneck Rates, Helping to Lower Energy Prices for Consumers

Roustabouts wanted as companies produce homegrown, clean-burning natural gas: “The natural gas industry expects to create thousands of jobs in Marcellus shale gas development in this decade, and state agencies and colleges are gearing up to train workers to fill those positions. The Marcellus Shale Coalition…said the boom created 44,000 jobs in the state last year. It is predicting thousands more this decade. … The Western Area Career and Technology Center in Canonsburg has trained more than 100 in a roustabout training program since last year, and the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport graduated about 200 workers from its roustabout program since October. … Some students graduating from Western Area Career and Technology Center in Canonsburg have landed jobs related to gas production and are being paid annual salaries of between $50,000 and $60,000, said Iannetti, director of the career center. (Tribune-Review, 8/18/10)

Shale gas production has driven “natural gas price down to the lowest rates in almost a decade”: “UGI Corp. will enter the Marcellus Shale gas rush, a move that could result in Pennsylvania utility customers using and benefiting from Pennsylvania-produced gas. … “The natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania is in areas in which we have a significant amount of assets, including much of our utility and gas marketing service territories,” said Lon R. Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of UGI. … The discovery of shale gas reserves throughout the country has already driven natural gas price down to the lowest rates in almost a decade. Brian Fitzpatrick, UGI’s manager of gas supply, said adding a local source of natural gas to the utility’s portfolio could reduce the price volatility that occurs from hurricane disruptions in the Gulf. State consumer advocate Irwin “Sonny” Popowsky said UGI’s plans could benefit both natural gas and electricity customers, since natural gas pricess are figured into electricity prices. (Scranton Times-Tribune, 8/14/10)

Marcellus Shale companies in hiring mode: “Among the most voluminous hirers are natural gas developers ramping up their operations in the Marcellus Shale, a gas-rich layer of rock thousands of feet below the ground. Moon-based Atlas Energy Inc., for example, has been on a hiring spree since it announced in April a $1.7 billion joint venture with Indian company Reliance Industries Ltd. The company’s president, Rich Weber, said Atlas has added about 100 people to the firm’s roster in 2010, bringing the total to about 600. The firm is slated to double in size in the next several years, he said. … Weber also added that about 85 percent of its new hires have come from Pennsylvania. … Talisman Energy, is on track to hire an additional 60 employees for its new American corporate headquarters in Warrendale. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 8/13/10)

Hundreds want gas drilling jobs: “Hundreds of residents from throughout the Ohio Valley waited in long lines Wednesday with hopes of landing a job with one of the many natural gas companies actively drilling in the West Virginia Marcellus Shale. Nine recruiters from Chesapeake Energy, based in Oklahoma City, were on hand Wednesday to talk to job seekers during a six-hour career information open house at the PPG McKenna Shelter. Men and women with resumes in hand, dressed in everything from construction boots and jeans to business attire, stood on line for two to three hours waiting for the chance to speak with one of the recruiters. … “This is a great opportunity for around here,” said Long. “This (the gas industry) is one of the only things around here. It’s a good thing they (Chesapeake) are here.”“Any new full-time employment in this area is great,” he added. (Wheeling Intelligencer, 8/19/10)

Marcellus Shale’s economic impact is growing: “Marcellus Shale drilling is still in its infancy in West Virginia, but the industry is already contributing millions of dollars to the state’s economy. It may be awhile before the gas industry’s economic impact rivals that of coal in West Virginia. Mike Shaver, clad in a hard hat and muddy boots, surveys a gas drilling rig on a site in Upshur County. As a crew drills towards the Marcellus Shale, a pipe pumps water and dirt out of the hole in the earth and into a huge pit of muddy, rock-filled water. (Huntington Herald Dispatch, 8/14/10)

Regional Editorials Weigh-In

New York State gets it wrong on gas drilling moratorium: “We prefer that Pennsylvania simply be very responsible and practical in enforcing its environmental laws. There is no reason that can’t be done while desperately needed economic growth from the natural gas industry is nurtured. This past week the Sun-Gazette reported on the rapid growth of the cement mixing Halliburton plant off Route 405 in Clinton Township, where ground was broken a year ago. By year’s end there will be about 100 jobs, and there are projections that the plant will eventually employ 400 people. Plants with 400 jobs especially new ones aren’t plentiful in our region. As long as the state has a fix on how to be environmentally vigilant over the industry, we don’t get why a moratorium that would drive off sorely needed economic development like that is necessary. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette Editorial, 8/15/10)

WV should safely explore gas development on taxpayer-owned land: “While some citizens are reluctant to permit gas development under public lands, others are aware that West Virginia can realize significant benefits that preserve and enhance state properties. New revenues from both the sale of gas and the employment of drilling crews can support government programs that many citizens believe are important. (State Journal Editorial, 8/19/10)

We’re Here For the Long-Haul, and Here to Be Good Neighbors, Stewards of the Environment

Ridge pushes for environmentally safe gas drilling: “Former Gov. Tom Ridge this afternoon called Marcellus Shale gas production a “transformative opportunity” for Pennsylvania during an appearance Downtown in his new role as a strategic adviser to an industry group. Still dressed in the jeans and checkered shirt that he wore to inspect production operations in Washington County earlier in the day, Mr. Ridge hailed the industry’s economic potential but also stressed the need to manage environmental concerns. “We’re only getting one chance to get it right,” Mr. Ridge said. (Post-Gazette, 8/17/10)

Natural gas company reaches out to neighbors: “Cabot Oil and Gas has more than 100 gas wells in Susquehanna County and at Montrose Area high school, the company and other contractors brought in equipment, had demonstrations and more to show the community exactly what they do and how they do it. … It was all about educating the public at the Cabot Oil and Gas community picnic at Montrose Area high school. … Hundreds showed up for the behind-the-scenes look. “They needed a day like this to see this equipment, to get an understanding of what it is we’re doing. I couldn’t get everybody on a rig tour, but we thought we could bring a rig tour to the folks here,” said George Stark with Cabot Oil and Gas. … “I think it’s taken a pretty sleepy community and put it on the map. Some people might think that’s not good, but it’s brought a lot of business,” said Becky Severcool of Montrose. (WNEP-TV, 8/14/10)

Drilling workers donate blood: “About three hours into the drive, a caller from Susquehanna County phoned the office of American Red Cross Wyoming County, asking for directions to the school from a gas drilling site in Susquehanna County. … Jay Jones, a supervisor with Selman and Associates, of Midland, Texas, assigned as Superintendent of Geology for Cabot Oil & Gas drilling sites in the area, said all of the workers, including his wife, are geologists working under contract with Cabot Oil & Gas to do geological studies at Dimock, Springville, Elk Lake, Montrose and South Montrose. “We had seen signs for the Red Cross blood drive posted on a bulletin board at True Value Hardware Store in Montrose for several days,” Jones said. “We asked one of the managers there to call the phone number posted on the sign to get us directions. Now, we’re here to give blood.” (Dallas Post, 8/15/10)

Cabot educational picnic draws more than 2,300 interested in learning more about the Marcellus: “More than 2,300 people crowded onto the grounds surrounding Montrose Area Junior/Senior High School Saturday afternoon, chowing down on barbecue fare while gawking at giant trucks, water tanks and other equipment used in the natural gas drilling process. … “I am overwhelmed with the community support that we have from today’s event,” Cabot spokesman George Stark said. “To see the crowd, to hear the questions, and to be able to answer those questions is very satisfying and rewarding.”“This is wonderful,” said Jeanne Ludwick, a Great Bend, Pa. resident who brought her three young grandchildren. (Press & Bulletin, 8/14/10)

NEPA resident says “We’re looking forward to” job-creating Marcellus production: “The purpose of Saturday’s picnic at Montrose Area High School was to help the host get to know its new Susquehanna County neighbors a bit better. Nothing unusual in that, perhaps. Except that the host was a natural gas company, the neighbors turned out in the thousands and the gathering even drew a small number of protesters. Possibly more than 3,000 people came to find out more about the industry, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. Lew and Lois Davy of New Milford attended the event to find out more about the area’s natural gas industry. “It’s coming,” Mr. Davy said. “We hope it does, anyway. We’re looking forward to it.” (Scranton Times-Tribune, 8/15/10)

Shale gas workers make room for Little League World Series families: “Marcellus Shale, which runs underneath this central Pennsylvania region, has far greater potential than baseball to restoring Williamsport as an industrial hub. … Kristi Gittins, a spokeswoman for Chief Oil & Gas, a Texas company that has been housing many of its employees in the Holiday Inn and the Hampton Inn, said many workers had already set up permanent residence in the area but that it still has workers “coming in and out” who had to find different lodging out of town. “Little League is such a wonderful event for the entire area,” said Gittins. “It’s a temporary inconvenience for workers. We didn’t give moving a second thought.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/19/10)

Local Governments, Academic Experts Back Responsible Marcellus Development

Lehman Twp. supervisors back Marcellus production: “Despite negative feedback in recent months from anti-“fracking” groups concerning Marcellus Shale gas drilling, supervisors on Monday night expressed their support for the industry, as did several township residents. Fracking refers to the drilling process of hydraulic fracturing, which uses water and chemicals under pressure to liberate natural gas from the shale deposits. … Carl Kern, who owns trucks that service drillers in Bradford County, said the public should listen to the positive side of drilling instead of the protest. … Board Chairman Dave Sutton concurred, adding that if the township must repair a road in an emergency situation, it will be reimbursed by the drillers. “It’s nice to hear something positive,” Sutton said. … He and several other lease holders are in the process of formalizing a local gas industry support group. (Wilkes Barre Times-Leader, 8/17/10)

University of Pitt. professor Dr. Radisav Vidic confirms fact that hydraulic fracturing’s never contaminated groundwater: “There hasn’t been any proven case that shows that the hydraulic fracturing itself causes contamination to groundwater. First of all, the well casing — the way it’s designed to be used — there’s multiple barriers there through the aquifer so there’s really no communication between the material that’s injected into the well and a groundwater aquifer. … You can go on the DEP website, and there is a list chemicals that are being used in hydro fracturing operation. … The industry is required to disclose this information, and the DEP has a list of all the chemicals that are being used for hydro fracturing operations.” (KDKA Radio, 7/10)

Monongahela Council OKs Marcellus gas deal: “Monongahela Council has approved a deal with a natural gas drilling company to locate two wells within city limits, earning the city a signing bonus of $35,000. One natural gas well will be located on property owned by the local fire department beside the city park known as The Mounds, Monongahela Mayor Bob Kepics said. Royalties paid by Chesapeake Appalachia of Charleston, W.Va., would help to keep the fire department in business, Kepics said. … Kepics said he is not aware of any residents who oppose the projects. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 8/17/10)