2012-11-18. Gas Boom County Strives for Economic Afterglow.

posted Nov 18, 2012, 8:28 AM by Alan Gould
| By John Schwartz, New York Times. An article relevant to GSS Energy Use chapter 3. Excerpt: ...A gas boom has brought companies and workers into parts of Pennsylvania that lie atop the Marcellus Shale formation, a rich source of both natural gas and controversy. The common economic criticism of the drilling industry is that it booms and then busts, generating few local jobs and leaving little lasting economic benefit. ...The industry helped give the Williamsport metropolitan area the seventh-fastest-growing economy in the United States in 2010…. A new state law, Act 13, includes fees for the industry that generated about $200 million in revenue in its first year, but that amount is expected to drop off quickly. Mr. Kisberg said the state could receive far more money over time through a direct tax on the gas itself…. Mark Price, a labor economist at the liberal-leaning Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, estimated that the industry had generated 20,000 jobs in Pennsylvania since the first quarter of 2008. While “any job over that time period is one to be lauded,” he said, the total constituted less than half a percentage point of all employment in the state. (The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, argues that if all jobs tied to shale gas are counted, the number rises to 234,000.) Mr. Price said he was skeptical that Pennsylvania could buffer the cycle of boom and bust, one the state had seen before with timber and coal. The area has already had a taste of what a bust might be like; natural gas prices have dropped in the past year, and drilling has slowed. “You would think that there would be a sensitivity to this issue,” Mr. Price said. “But memories are short.” Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/us/marcellus-shale-county-aims-for-long-term-gain.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121118