Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, referenced this week’s Fox News special report entitled “No Fracking, No Boom” in his blog update today. The blog compared the jobs-driven economic uplift in Pennsylvania to New York’s southern counties’ six year employment decline in the absence of shale development in his blog post today. The Chairman’s state of New York has placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing shut the shale boom out of the state.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett summed things up as follows: “The quality of life has tremendously increased, particularly for the people in this region, because they’re able to stay here and have jobs and keep families here.” OAG360 outlined the impact of natural gas on the two states in a recent feature article.
In his update, Congressman Upton said: “Witnesses at a recent Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing compared the growth in Pennsylvania to the declining economy in the southern tier of New York where regulators have failed to welcome the shale revolution.” Fred Siegel, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, testified: “The southern tier of New York counties is best suited for fracking, but employment in the Binghamton metro area of Broome county … has declined for six consecutive years and is now 12 percent below its 2001 level. To the West, employment in the Elmira metro area in Chemung County is also 12 percent below its 2001 level.”
Upton pointed out that the contrast between Pennsylvania and southern New York provides just one case study in how energy policy can affect economic and employment growth. Another example is Weld County, Colorado, currently thriving from development of the Niobrara shale via horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
But good paying oilfield jobs, increasing personal income levels, a surge in homebuilding and local business growth are only part of the shale boom’s benefits. Areas where shale development has ramped up also generate significant severance taxes and other revenues for local governments, counties and the states where oil and gas is flowing.
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