MSC Statement on Keystone Research Center’s Politically-Timed Attack on Family-Sustaining Jobs

Canonsburg, PA – Today, Marcellus Shale Coalition president and executive director Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement responding to a report issued by the Keystone Research Center calling into question the employment impact associated with responsible shale gas development:

“In the heat of a budget battle in Harrisburg, opponents of responsible natural gas development have launched yet another thinly-veiled, politically-timed attack on an industry that is creating family-sustaining jobs for men and women across the Commonwealth.  But families across Pennsylvania are seeing firsthand the reality of Marcellus development: it is fueling economic growth, employment, and investments in roads and infrastructure at rates not seen in decades.

“According to the Department of Labor and Industry, unemployment in counties with Marcellus development remains below the state average. Along Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, where development is most concentrated, employment has jumped 1,500 percent since the end of 2007. Furthermore, Marcellus operators are investing billions of dollars into Pennsylvania’s economy – from constructing state-of-the-art operating facilities, to building new offices, to leasing land for responsible development and driving economic growth in our rural communities. Take into account the more than $1 billion in taxes generated by Marcellus activity over the past half-decade, stable and affordable energy prices made possible by responsible natural gas development, and the ancillary employment impacts cascading through businesses across the Commonwealth, and only then can the full act of Marcellus development be realized. Once again, the rhetoric of opponents of Pennsylvania’s clean and abundant energy supply is simply not squaring with reality.

“People who were out of work and now have jobs thanks to Marcellus development are more than statistics, and they are proud that they now have jobs. Attempting to trivialize their new employment opportunities simply to fulfill a political agenda not only denies the real economic benefits from Marcellus, but also demeans the very people who are employed.”

The economic impact of responsible shale gas development is being felt in every corner of the commonwealth:

Family Sustaining Wages

  • “The average wage in the core industries was $73,150, which was about $27,400 greater than the average for all industries.” (Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, June 2011)
  • “The average wage in the ancillary industries was $61,871, which was more than $16,100 greater than the average for all industries.” (ibid)


Employment Impact

  • “Areas with significant Marcellus Shale drilling activity have seen notable decreases in unemployment rates.” (ibid)
  • “The Northern Tier Workforce Investment Areas (WIA) experienced an increase of employment growth of over 1,500%.” (ibid)
  • “The Central WIA was second in terms of employment growth by volume and by percentage with an employment increase of almost 1,000%.” (ibid)
  • “Significant employment gains were seen in each WIA that had substantial Marcellus Shale drilling activity.” (ibid)


Infrastructure Investment

  • “Marcellus shale drillers spent $411 million in the past three years to help rebuild Pennsylvania roads…” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 21, 2011)
  • “Since 2008, approximately 21% of the payments have been made toward local roads, while approximately 79% went toward improving roads maintained by the state.” (MSC press release, June 21, 2011)


Tax Revenue Generated by Responsible Marcellus Development 

  • “Drilling Industry Paid More Than $1 Billion in State Taxes Since 2006, Tax Payments in First Quarter of 2011 Already Surpass 2010 Totals” (Dept. of Revenue press release, May, 2, 2011)
  • “The Revenue Department’s analysis, which breaks out tax payments from oil and gas companies and their affiliates through April 2011, indicates that 857 of these companies have already paid $238.4 million in capital stock/foreign franchise tax, corporate net income tax, sales/use tax and employer withholding to the state in 2011. These figures from the first quarter of this year already exceed by nearly $20 million the total tax payments made in all of 2010.” (ibid)
  • “The data indicate that counties with 150 or more Marcellus wells experienced an 11.36 percent increase in state sales tax collections between 2007 and 2010.” (Penn State University, February 27, 2011)
  • “In counties with ten or more Marcellus wells, returns reporting royalty income increased 44.1 percent and tax income increased 325.3 percent.” (ibid)


READ MORE

  • Study: Marcellus Shale helping region’s economy: “Many areas of Pennsylvania, including the Pittsburgh metro area, are benefitting from the Marcellus Shale drilling activity. That certainly is giving Pennsylvania a boost relative to the rest of the country in terms of employment and gross economic output.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 21, 2011)