Given that the Governor promised “no new taxes” and most of the Marcellus Shale jobs are filled by out-of-staters, how significant is the economic benefit for Pennsylvania?

A few points here. First, the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is taxed just like any other industry doing business in the Commonwealth. Since 2006, the natural gas industry is responsible for more than $1.8 billion in tax revenue, and over the past two years generated more than $400 million in impact fees.

To the second part of your question about job creation, more than 90 percent of the new hires in this industry are from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, New York or West Virginia with more than half coming from the commonwealth. and when you consider that natural gas development touches 239,000 Pennsylvania jobs, according to the Department of Labor and Industry, it’s clear that the benefits are real and tangible.

Finally, economics in this case are fairly simple. White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon said this about the important role that natural gas will continue to play in strengthening our economy in a recent Columbia University speech:

“The new U.S. energy posture and outlook will directly strengthen the nation’s economy. There are not a lot of iron laws of history. But one is that, as the President has said, a country’s political and military primacy depends on its economic vitality. Our strength at home is critical to our strength in the world, and our energy boom has proven to be an important driver for our economic recovery—boosting jobs, economic activity, and government revenues.”