Williamsport Sun-Gazette editorial: Gas industry creates multi-level economy

The broad-based impact on the region’s economy that the gas drilling industry is bringing is so broad that it’s hard to grasp on the im pact at times.

Recently Moxie Energy announced plans for two 800 megawatt combined cycle power plants that will be fueled with locally produced natural gas.

The first good news there is that the plants are local, in Clinton Township in Lycoming County and Asylum Township in Bradford County. When the natural gas industry descended on the region almost a decade ago, there was great concern that the area would endure all of the infrastructure headaches of the industry without realizing the benefits of having the industry in its backyard.

With the City of Williamsport’s proposed plans for a natural gas refueling station and announcements such as the Moxie development, it appears there is a pattern of more and more local opportunities that is arising out of the natural gas drilling boom.

But what gets lost in all the announcement is the job-creation in other fields that arises from the mere development alone.

In the case of Moxie Energy’s plans, there will be 500 jobs available during the peak of the construction phase of the two plants in 2012 and 2013.

The construction of the plants is expected to take 32 to 34 months.

Throughout the construction, the minimum jobs created will total 200.

On top of that, there will be 30 permanent, high-paying technical jobs created.

So, besides the benefit of being the local conduit for natural gas, the region gets 30 permanent jobs for its employment rolls and between 200 and 500 construction jobs over a two-year period.

All of those people will be paid.

They will be generating a steady volume of local tax revenues.

They will be spending money on necessities and housing and multiple other purposes.

That’s a lot of what the experts call economic churn.

And it’s a scenario apt to be repeated for at least the next decade and more likely the next generation.

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