Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gas industry study says Marcellus Shale drilling could create 100,000 to 230,000 jobs

An industry-commissioned study says development of natural-gas resources in the deep Marcellus Shale (map) could pump up to $25 billion into Appalachia and create 230,000 jobs by 2020. The report says if production is only slightly increased, with limits on drilling in New York and only modest expansions in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, shale drilling and production would generate $9 billion in value added and 100,000 jobs.

"Maintaining production growth is like running on a treadmill," Timothy Considine, an economics professor at Penn State and the report's author, told Katie Howell of Environment & Energy Daily. "Slowing down drilling and production would negatively impact employment and economic growth."He added, "If governments pursue policies that encourage the development of natural gas, the ultimate benefits to the economy, the tax base and society would be significant." A possible severance tax on gas drilling in Pennsylvania, a ban on horizontal drilling in New York and a challenging tax and regulatory environment in West Virginia are listed by the study as possible barriers to shale development. The study was commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute. (Read more, subscription required)

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