Even the national media cannot deny it all of the time; natural gas development is driving Pennsylvania’s economy like no other industry while lower the United States’ carbon footprint.
The last few days has brought surprisingly fair and objective reporting about Marcellus Shale natural gas development from national media outlets. Both the New York Times and NY Daily News published articles about the remarkable benefits responsible natural gas development is bringing to Pennsylvania and the country at large. Here is a rundown of each article:
John Schwartz, a national correspondent for the New York Times, recently traveled to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, writing about the mighty Marcellus shale and its positive impacts. In his article, Gas Boom County Strives for Economic Afterglow, Schwartz details how “the industry helped give the Williamsport metropolitan area the seventh-fastest-growing economy in the United States in 2010, according to figures released last year by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.” Staying true to objective reporting, Schwartz follows up this powerful statement with series of examples personifying this amazing economic growth instead of blurring the reader’s perspective dire banter:
- Four new hotels have been built in town, and new restaurants and bars have sprouted…
- Pennsylvania College of Technology, part of the Pennsylvania State University system, increased efforts to train local workers, educating 7,000 students in short courses since 2009 and expanding two- and four-year degree programs as well.
- Local businesses have also stepped up to work with the industry. The Ralph S. Alberts Company makes custom molded polymers, anything from seats for amusement park rides to medical training mannequins.
The truth is, the entire article only began to scratch the surface of everything going on in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Here are some things Mr. Schwartz did not cover:
- Marcellus Energy Park – Business development project dedicated to providing family sustaining jobs. The 165 acre facility is located next to the Muncy Industrial Park and is a true testament to the private sector working to create jobs in cooperation with public entities.
- Based on available Workforce Investment Area data (WIA), Central Area (great Williamsport region) over a four year span saw the second largest change in core employment for Marcellus Shale drilling activity, almost 2,700 new hires. *
- The average wage in Marcellus Shale drilling activity core industries was approximately $35,000 greater than the average for all industries; the average wage in the ancillary industries was approximately $16,900 higher. (The average wage across all industries in Pennsylvania was $47,861. )*
*Data found in Marcellus Shale Fast Facts (October 2012 Edition).
While the New York Times pushed economic impacts, NY Daily News covered the broad advantage of natural gas proclaiming the promise of slowing global warming, saving money, boosting the economy and improving national security.
In the article Climate for Fracking, the author states natural gas usage has accounted for a reduction of 500 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions. To put this into perspective, reducing 500 megatons of carbon dioxide is the equivalent of the last 20 years of climate-change agreements combined. Furthermore, increased domestic energy production is position the United States to “overtake Saudi Arabia in the black-gold business by 2020.”
Many have criticized the industry for not being an economic driver, however, both of these articles certainly makes a case otherwise.