What They’re Saying: Shale Development Creating Jobs, Economic Growth That “Long Has Been Considered Unthinkable”

  • Responsible shale development providing a “boost to a long depressed region”

  • “Gas industry provides positive progress for Pa.”

  • “There are tremendous economic benefits to everyone … It stimulates the economy”

“Left for Extinct, a Steel Plant Rises in Ohio”: On the edge of the Mahoning River, where once stood dozens of blast furnaces, more than 400 workers are constructing what long has been considered unthinkable: a new $650 million steel plant. When complete, it will stand 10 stories tall, occupy one million square feet and make a half million tons of seamless steel tubes used in “fracking” or drilling for natural gas in shale basins. France’s Vallourec & Mannesmann Holdings Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of steel tubes for the energy market, has decided to build the plant here next to an existing facility for two main reasons. Youngstown has an experienced steelmaking work force and the city is at the door of the Marcellus Shale, a natural-gas basin beneath New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. … The new V&M plant will add about 350 jobs and provide additional tax revenue for Youngstown, both needed in a region where the unemployment rate stands at 9% and has consistently surpassed the national average. … Local leaders say the project also lends a psychological boost to a long depressed region. “That V&M is putting $650 million in the area—in a bad economy, in what people call an old Rust Belt town—says something,” says Thomas Humphries, president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. … The outgoing mayor admits, “I never envisioned a new steel mill in Youngstown.” (Wall Street Journal, 8/2/11)

MSC President: “Gas industry provides positive progress for Pa.”: A recent economic analysis found that in 2010 Pennsylvanians saved $633 million in utility bills because of expanded supplies of natural gas produced in the commonwealth. Further, the natural gas industry is paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. In fact, according to the state Department of Revenue, the natural gas industry paid more than $238 million in taxes during the first three months of 2011. And from 2006, we’ve generated more than $1.1 billion dollars in state tax revenues. More stable and affordable supplies of clean-burning American energy for struggling consumers and small businesses. Thousands of jobs at a time when they’re most needed. Heightened energy security. You can call this positive progress a lot of things – “lowdown deeds,” however, is not one of them. (Times-Leader, 8/2/11)

NY Landowner Association Founder: “With shale gas, we have an opportunity to have local energy serve local needs, an opportunity for our region and our state to emerge from the economic doldrums, and an opportunity for our nation to become less dependent on foreign oil. Gas development is a jump-start for New York. And some day, it will come to Otsego County.” (Daily Star, 8/1/11)

Pa. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley: At a panel discussion in Philadelphia on natural gas job development, Cawley said the Marcellus Shale will put to rest the terms “rust belt” and “brain drain” for the Keystone State. (State Impact, 8/2/11)

“Shale Drilling Spinoffs”: Gov. John Kasich alluded to the potential, highlighted by Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s announcement last week that the “discovery of a major new liquids-rich play in the Utica Shale,” concentrated in eastern Ohio, that could add as much as $20 billion to the company’s value. “It’s not just about something on the wellhead. It’s about industries that are attached to it,” Kasich said Tuesday at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Anderson-Dubose Inc. distribution center and warehouse at the industrial park. He pointed to the best-known local example of such activity to illustrate his point, V&M Star’s new $650 million mill being built in Youngstown. (Youngstown Business Journal, 8/3/11)

“Impact study details growth in shale work”: Despite debate over the number of jobs created by the gas industry, one local college is predicting the need for a possible 30,000 new positions between now and 2014. The Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center recently released an impact study, which revealed that between 18,596 to 30,684 jobs will be needed by 2014, including 9,800 to 15,900 new positions. … “From a Penn College standpoint, we’ve seen a dramatic increase of using Pennsylvania residents,” [Larry Michael, executive director of Workforce & Economic Development] said. … State residents are now replacing the people who originally began the jobs. “The number that tends to be the percentage used most recently in two different studies is 70 or 71 percent are now Pennsylvania residents,” Michael said. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 7/31/11)

NY Dem. Chairman Backs Responsible American Natural Gas Development: Gov. Cuomo’s state Democratic Party chairman says, “Drill, baby, drill” when it comes to controversial “hydrofracking” to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation on the New York-Pennsylvania border. … “My belief is if we can extract natural gas, which is a cleaner form of energy, from our land, reducing the import of foreign oil and the cash flowing out of our country, and make for cleaner air, improve the economy and not damage the water, I’m for it,” Jacobs continued. (New York Post, 8/1/11)

Fmr. WVU Prof., Expert: “Many people are concerned about water wells, but Lisa Jackson, chief administrator for the EPA, has said there is no record in all of history where hydrofracture drilling has ruined a person’s water well,” Shuck said. “As an engineer, it is highly improbable that could ever happen.” … “There are tremendous economic benefits to everyone who lives in West Virginia,” he said. “It can help reduce taxes for every individual in West Virginia. Counties will be able to reduce property taxes and we will have a domestic energy source, so we don’t need to import energy from other countries. We are creating our own energy supply and converting that natural gas into a new product. It stimulates the economy. Natural gas is the cleanest energy we can recover and the easiest to procure.” (Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 8/1/11)

Despite a deep recession, Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania has created tens of thousands of jobs, rescued many landowners from foreclosure and bankruptcy, and generated fortunes for farmers, laborers, and businesses. … The influx of new employees means local governments have seen more revenue from the emergency and municipal services tax, which is withheld from workers’ paychecks. Other revenue streams have grown, too. Bradford County has received about $1 million from the drilling industry in recording and copying fees alone. And drillers have paid $1.1 billion in state taxes since 2006, according to the Department of Revenue. … In addition to state and local taxes, gas drillers voluntarily spent more than $200 million on road repairs and improvements in 2010 alone. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Matthew Brouillette, 8/1/11)

“Belmont County Gas Business Is Booming”: Marcellus and Utica Shale natural gas drilling seems to be taking off in Belmont County – so much so that a leasing company paid mineral owners as much as $60 million last week. … Having the abstractors dig through the property records has yielded Nixon some unexpected revenue, as her office brought in about $5,000 on July 25 alone for recording leases and copying materials. … “All of this activity with the abstractors has really given our office quite a boost,” Nixon said. … Kip Tygard, managing partner of Wishgard, said his company planned to pay out $50-$60 million in lease revenue to property owners in Belmont and northern Monroe counties last week. “Car dealerships are going to be doing well. Tractor supply companies will be doing well. It will be a big boost to the economy,” he said. (Wheeling Intelligencer, 8/3/11)