Responsible Marcellus Shale Production Creating a “Long-Awaited Economic Revival”

Fmr. PADEP secretary says hydraulic fracturing is “safe” for the environment

The responsible development of the Marcellus Shale’s abundant, clean-burning, homegrown energy reserves continues to foster ‘An American Renewal’. And as laid out in the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Guiding Principles, our industry is committed to getting this historic opportunity right: protecting the environment for our kids and grandkids; bolstering local economies and their workforce; and providing sustainable and broad-based economic and energy-security benefits for all.

In a recent interview, former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) secretary, John Hanger, underscored the imperative and shared priority of protecting our environment. Hanger, who served as president & CEO of the environmental organization PennFuture, tells ProPublica that DEP “does as of this moment” have enough inspectors to effectively regulate job-creating natural gas development in the Commonwealth. Mr. Hanger notes this about DEP’s inspectors responsible for overseeing Marcellus Shale development: “We hired in 2009. We hired in 2010.”

When asked about hydraulic fracturing – a tightly-regulated 60 year-old energy stimulation technology – the Gov. Ed Rendell appointed-former DEP secretary describes the process as “safe in respect” to shale gas production in Pennsylvania. Emphasizing the fact that energy-producing states ably and aggressively regulate hydraulic fracturing, Mr. Hanger adds that rather than involving the federal government, “It’s better to have these questions decided close to home. It’s Pennsylvania’s water, it’s Pennsylvania’s air, it’s Pennsylvania’s land.”

What They’re Saying About Clean-Burning, Job-Creating American Natural Gas Production From The Mighty Marcellus

  • “Marcellus Shale creates boom”: Natural gas drilling has arrived in Centre County, bringing with it what could be the biggest economic boom central Pennsylvania has seen since the heyday of coal mining a generation ago. Some experts say it could be bigger. … Businesses also are seeing a wave of opportunity as a result of drilling. … The unemployed and underemployed of central Pennsylvania can also look forward to the creation of jobs, and not only in the gasfields. … Increased competition for labor is also expected to drive up salaries. … Unemployment rates in counties where significant drilling has already occurred have dropped markedly. Bradford County’s rate went from 10 percent in March 2009 to 7.3 percent in October 2010; in Tioga County, the rate dropped from 10.4 in March 2009 to 8.5 percent in October 2010. (Centre Daily Times, 2/10/11)
  • “A tremendous answer to our economic problems”: Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said he remains concerned that the permitting process would be delayed. “We really need to have a commissioner that’s going to be serious about the permitting process,” he said. “It’s going to be a tremendous answer to our economic problems not only in upstate New York, but throughout the state.” (Press & Sun-Bulletin, 2/8/11)

  • “With drilling comes jobs – lots of them”: With drilling comes jobs – lots of them. Local economic leaders believe Schuylkill County workers would be willing and qualified to fill those jobs if Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling eventually finds its way here, as experts believe it will. “You have a lot of professional jobs, but then you also have planners, pipefitters … and you have a whole realm of administrative staff. You have welders. It’s so vast a pipeline of ancillary jobs. It’s the Marcellus Shale multiplier,” Darlene Robbins, president of the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association, said Friday. … Over the next decade, shale drilling will create at least 212,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania alone, according to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an organization of energy and other companies related to the industry. … “You’re talking carpentry skills … you would also have truck-driving skills. There’s a plethora of opportunities.” … Local gas drilling could help solve a nagging problem in Schuylkill County – about 30 percent of the work force commutes out of the county for their jobs. “If we could bring those back in to this community, it would be a great benefit to them and to the community,” Scarbinsky said. (Republican & Herald, 2/8/11)
  • “Like a gold rush; ‘Any time you can give someone a job, it makes you feel good’”: Tim Bainey Sr. owns T.L. Bainey, a 22-year-old trucking company in Philipsburg. Bainey struggled for years to build a successful enterprise out of his firm’s Philipsburg location until Marcellus Shale changed his fortune. “Before Marcellus, business had tightened up really bad, it was really hurting us,” Bainey said. “Last March, it started. It’s been like a gold rush in our area. We managed to hook up with the right people at the right time, and we’ve been very busy since.” Bainey said the company has more than doubled its fleet of trucks from 15 to 32, and hired an equivalent number of drivers, including four over the recent winter holiday. “It was a pretty good Christmas present for them. Any time you can give someone a job, it makes you feel good,” Bainey said. Almost all of the drivers are from the Philipsburg area, he added. (Centre Daily Times, 2/10/11)

  • “Businesses booming”: Best Line Equipment, with locations around the state, including one in State College and two in Centre Hall, has recently seen its business boom. Rentals and sales of heavy excavation equipment, portable lighting and generators that Best Line carries are way up. The increase in business has led to pay raises, new hires and to the company retaining employees through the winter — normally a down time requiring layoffs, said Adam Houseknecht, Best Line’s director of business development. (Centre Daily Times, 2/10/11)

  • Responsible Marcellus development can “help our people in many ways”: “We support jobs creation and wealth creation that are done in an environmentally friendly manner,” [Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall] said. “West Virginia has an opportunity to develop wealth. But let’s make sure we do it right.” … Drilling new wells “has the potential to help our people in many ways, to help our businesses in many ways,” said [West Virginia] Sen. Dan Foster, D-Kanawha. (Charleston Gazette, 2/9/11)
  • “A major economic boom for West Virginia”: Marcellus shale gas exploration looms as a major economic boom for West Virginia, and four senators moved Tuesday to take full advantage of the potential bonanza. “It’s huge,” the lead sponsor, Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha, said of the legislation tailored to provide incentives to both producers and consumers. … Marcellus shale is found in the north-central counties and into the Northern Panhandle, then extends all the way to New York. “It’s not stuff we just dreamed up,” he said. (Register-Herald Reporter, 2/9/11)