What They’re Saying: “Almost Overnight,” Marcellus Shale Has Revitalized Region’s Economy, Strengthened America

  • Natural gas development “has added thousands of new jobs and millions in royalty payments to [Bradford] county over the few short years”
  • “I have seen studies that [Marcellus development] has caused fuel bills for a typical residential bill to decline about 40 percent”
  • Marcellus Shale natural gas production “would be a godsend for economically stunted Upstate, NY”
  • “Three out of four of those polled said they favor the development of natural gas…Support cuts across party lines and backgrounds”

“That Boom You Hear is Coming From Bradford”: If New York residents want to know what happens when the gas industry rolls into town, they don’t have to look farther than Bradford County, Pa. Once a quiet expanse of sleepy boroughs pocketed amid sprawling tracts of farmland, Bradford has skyrocketed to the forefront of the Marcellus Shale natural gas rush. The drilling industry has added thousands of new jobs and millions in royalty payments to the county over the few short years it took to become the most actively drilled place in Pennsylvania. (Press & Sun Bulletin, 10/29/11)

Thanks to the Marcellus Shale, “Natural-gas Prices Fall 8.2 percent in Erie Region”: National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. said [Marcellus Shale natural gas development] also led to a larger supply and lower prices. The utility, which serves 14 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania, announced Monday that it is passing along to customers an 8.2 percent decline in the price of natural gas. An average customer on balanced billing — using 95,000 cubic feet of gas a year — would see his or her monthly bill fall from $92.51 to $84.92. “This decrease is the direct result of a continuing decline in the market price of natural gas, largely due to the increased supply, particularly from the Marcellus Shale development,” Nancy Taylor, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement. … The abundance of gas found in the Marcellus Shale, much of it in Pennsylvania, has been a big factor in that decline, Taylor said. “I have seen studies that [Marcellus development] has caused fuel bills for a typical residential bill to decline about 40 percent,” she said. (Erie Times-News, 11/1/11)

“Video: You Wanted a Jobs Plan?” The Marcellus Shale Coalition has produced a new video showing that in the state of Pennsylvania it’s been happening for some time. Sitting in the middle of one of the larger deposits of natural gas in the world, (not to mention coal and – formerly – oil) the industry has been ramping up steadily for several years and is bucking a national trend by driving the unemployment rate down. But rather than producing some potentially biased report of their own, this video is simply a compilation of stories which were already reported in both the local and national news. (Hot Air, 10/27/11)

Post-Gazette Columnist on Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Development: “It Creates Jobs and Reduces Pollution; What’s Not to Like?”: In this dark hour comes an energy development that can revive our economy, restore upward mobility to the middle class and reduce the threat of Islamist terror. This Spindletop-on-steroids is natural gas trapped in “black” shale, made accessible by hydraulic fracturing. … Marcellus Shale added 44,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and 13,000 jobs in West Virginia in 2009, according to researchers at Penn State. Ohio could add more than 200,000 jobs in just four years, an industry group there estimated in September. Nationally, the direct and indirect gains in jobs are measured in millions. We could be energy independent in less than a decade. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia stand to lose their geopolitical clout. (Post-Gazette op-ed, 10/30/11)

Bradford Co.’s Producing Enough Natural Gas to Heat 2.6 Million Homes; Unemployment Rate Continues to Plummet: [Bradford] county produced 184.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas — enough to heat about 2.6 million average homes in the Northeast for a year — in the 12 months between July 2010 and June 2011, according to state data. The county’s unemployment has fallen from 10.8 percent in March 2009 to 6.5 percent this August, when it had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state. … In nearby Athens Borough, Chesapeake Energy set up offices at the Ingersoll Rand tool manufacturing plant almost as soon as the facility — long an economic mainstay — ceased operations last year. Chesapeake Energy has approximately 1,400 employees working in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region, according to Brian Grove, the company’s director of corporate development. (Press & Sun Bulletin, 10/29/11)

Responsible Natural Gas Development from the Marcellus Shale “Would be a Godsend” for New York’s Economy: [Marcellus Shale development] would be a godsend for economically stunted Upstate, which desperately needs the thousands of jobs and millions in revenue that fracking would provide. (New York Post editorial, 10/30/11)

Building a Strong, Local Workforce for Careers in Responsible, Job-Creating American Energy Development: The shale-gas industry in eastern Ohio and other eastern states is developing at an accelerating pace, so the fact that colleges and universities in the region quickly are adding experts to their staffs and developing programs related to the industry is good news. Efforts already under way are helping connect people to good jobs in the gas industry. … Putting good jobs in the reach of low-skilled workers also broadens the benefits of the gas boom. Academic options are coming for employees at all levels of the growing industry. (Columbus Dispatch editorial, 10/30/11)

“Natural Gas Development Poll Shows Strong Support”: A recently released poll shows strong support for natural gas development across the state [of Maryland]. … Almost three out of four of those polled said they favor the development of natural gas in Western Maryland. And that support cuts across party lines and backgrounds, pollsters said. (Cumberland Times-News, 10/29/11)

“Run – Don’t Walk, Run – to Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Drilling Areas” for Employment: That was the message from natural gas industry panelists to other business people convened by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Friday at the Doubletree Hotel in Center City. “Construction companies based here are setting up operations where the activity is and supplying trained people, but we need more trained people to fill those jobs,” panel moderator James Balaschak of Deloitte said afterward. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/28/11)

Regional Economic Development Official: “If you have your CDL (commercial driver’s license), there’s a demand for drivers like you’ve never seen before,” [Anthony Ventello, executive director of the Central Bradford Progress Authority, the regional economic development agency] said. “Farmers have been land-rich and cash-poor for many, many years. Now they have opportunities they never could have dreamed of.” The county’s economy…has been transformed almost overnight. (Press & Sun Bulletin, 10/29/11)

Marcellus Dialogue Must be Grounded in Facts, Not “Hyperbole”: [A new study] does toss cold water on those who allow their “science,” or their agenda, to wander far from the facts. As this industry grows throughout the commonwealth, it must proceed in a responsible, environmentally safe manner. But those who bird-dog the industry must also do so responsibly and refrain from the hyperbole that too often clouds the Marcellus shale debate. (Tribune-Review editorial, 10/31/11)