Shale “Breathing New Life” into the American Economy

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy released a study reaffirming the fact that hydraulic fracturing “is a safe and well-regulated technology.” The proven technology, coupled with horizontal drilling advancements, is responsible for “fueling a resurgence” in our nation’s workforce – especially in the manufacturing sector – making the U.S. more competitive in the global marketplace. And to be sure, the American people want to see increased use of locally-produced, clean-burning natural gas.

Here is what they are saying:

STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY, WORKFORCE

  • Veterans a “Natural Fit” for Shale Industry: Given the opportunity veterans can usually find employment after their time serving. The oil & gas industry is that opportunity. … The traits that the military imparts on the men and women — loyalty, courage, safety, commitment, leadership, teamwork — are all valued by employers in this industry, It’s a natural fit for our troops leaving active service. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/15/14)
  • New Classes Prepare Students for Energy Industry Careers: Butler County Community College is adding four new energy classes to it curriculum this fall in an effort to prepare students for the booming natural gas and oil industry. … This is the largest opportunity to hit Western Pennsylvania in over 100 years. … The new classes will focus on natural gas processing and industrial safety. The new classes were made possible by a three-year grant from the Department of Labor in an effort to develop energy curriculum. (Pittsburgh Tribune0Review, 9/13/14)
  • Shale “Fueled a Resurgence” in Pa.’s Workforce: Colleges in Western Pennsylvania are gearing up to emphasize curricula that prepares students for jobs in energy and industrial fields. … “Industrial jobs are in demand, and employees need a variety of skills,” Rosedale President Dennis Wilke said. … The natural gas boom in Pennsylvania has fueled a resurgence in industrial and manufacturing jobs, Wilke said. …  Butler County Community College recently added four energy-related classes to its curriculum, and Westmoreland County Community College has an energy degree program. … “There certainly is a need. It is going to be an increasing,” said David Pistner, director of energy initiatives at Penn State University’s Pennsylvania College of Technology. Shale-related companies planned to hire 2,000 employees in 2014, more than a quarter of them in engineering and construction fields, according to a workforce survey released by the Marcellus Shale Coalition. More than 80 percent of those hires could come from Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Shale-related industries employed about 238,000 people last year, according the state Department of Labor and Industry. A person working in the shale industry earns $90,000 on average. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/16/14)
  • Americans Want More “Abundant, Reliable” Natural Gas: With our energy needs continuing to increase Americans know that we need abundant, reliable energy for the future. … Americans want to increase the use of natural gas. … Because natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and it’s produced right in our backyards it makes sense that Americans want to see its use increased. (Boston Globe, 9/14/14)
  • Natural Gas is Making the U.S. More Competitive: Thanks to shale development America is blessed with an abundance of cheap natural gas. This has made the U.S. more competitive with foreign market to produce everyday products. … Ten years ago everyone was talking about projects in the Middle East. Now if you go to industry forums in the U.S., Europe, or Asia, everyone is talking about investing here in the U.S. … The U.S. conference of mayors expects employment in energy-intensive manufacturing to grow one percent a year through 2020. (MIT Technology Review, 9/16/14)
  • Natural Gas is “Breathing New Life” into America’s Economy: There are no drilling rigs in Holland, Mich., but the local economy is still feeling the effects of America’s natural gas drilling boom. The same is true in Newton, N.C., which is hundreds of miles from the rich natural gas deposits being tapped in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. In those places and many others, the massive supply chain for the natural gas industry is breathing new life into all facets of the country’s manufacturing sector, thanks to demand for pipes, equipment and technology. … America’s natural gas and oil industries now support more than 9.8 million jobs, according to a new report released last week by API. (Fox News, 9/17/14)

SHALE BENEFITS REALIZED LOCALLY

  • Centre Co. Switches to Clean, Affordable CNG: As buses, garbage trucks and other public vehicles continue to belch out clouds of diesel and gasoline fumes, the Centre Region is working on a solution that’s more natural. … The Centre County Board of Commissioners approved a grant agreement Tuesday between the county and the state Department of Transportation for the purchase of six vans, all of which will be converted to run on 100 percent CNG. …  With an average of 20 vehicles on the road any day, half will use the compressed fuel. … COG Regional Refuse and Recycling Program Administrator Pam Adams described a program contract that would replace five diesel-running garbage trucks and five recycling trucks with CNG-friendly vehicles. … CATA buses have been running on CNG since 1994, CATA marketing manager Jackie Sheader said, with the entire fleet converted in 2005. (Centre Daily Times, 9/16/14)
  • Local Shale a “Blessing From Above”: From family sustaining jobs to cheaper energy, shale development is providing vast opportunities for hardworking Americans across the country. …We are blessed once more by the discovery of the natural gas in shale formations and the ability to recover it. We now have an abundance of energy and the chance to become independent from foreign energy sources. (Charleston Daily Mail letter, 9/16/14)
  • Shale Impact Fees “Make Things Easier on Taxpayers”: This year Crawford Co. will make almost 500,000 from shale development impact fees. These impact fees help offset the costs of local projects and make things easier on tax payers. … Impact fee funds may be used by municipalities for road, bridge and infrastructure projects; water, storm water and sewer systems; preservation and reclamation of surface and subsurface waters and water supplies; increasing the availability of affordable housing; emergency preparedness and public safety; delivery of social services, judicial services, career and technical centers for training of workers; and local or regional planning. (Meadville Tribune, 9/14/14)
  • Lawrence Co. Allocates Shale Impact Fees for Projects: The Lawrence Co. commissioners are sharing $240,000 with 10 local agencies. The funds, available through the Marcellus Shale Act 13 Impact Fees, are collected through the Public Utility Commission from deep well drillers seeking natural gas. … The county received $287,428 — collected based on well-drilling activities in 2013. … The commissioners Tuesday allocated $240,000 for three county projects and 10 non-profit agencies seeking financial support for specific programs. The remaining $47,428 is being retained by the county as a rainy-day fund to be used for emergencies, county administrator James Gagliano said. “…We can keep it all to use for county projects or we can distribute it.” Vogler explained. (New Castle News, 9/17/14)

Read the fall edition of Marcellus Quarterly Magazine HERE and view our latest educational video on the Pennsylvania’s natural gas impact fee tax HERE.