Background Readings

Community and Economic Impacts

eco_charts

The figures above show the estimated number of jobs
that will be added to Pennsylvania's labor pool and
the estimated value of the natural gas industry to
Pennsylvania's economy through 2020. Note: Billions
of dollars are based on 2010 dollars.
Data Source: The Pennsylvania Marcellus Natural Gas
Industry: Status, Economic Impacts and Future
Potential (Considine et al., 2011).

The graphs (right) illustrate the estimated economic impacts the natural gas industry will have on job creation and revenue in Pennsylvania by the year 2020 (data from Considine et. al, 2011). More than 256,000 jobs will be created, yielding a revenue of more than $20 billion if the trend in natural gas development of the Marcellus Shale formation continues.

While these projections show us a promising picture of the overall economic contribution the natural gas industry may have on Pennsylvania in the next 10 years, what does it mean to the local residents whose farms and land are being developed for drilling activities? How do they feel about the changes in their community?

As unemployment rates top 10% across several counties in north central Pennsylvania, development of the Marcellus Shale formation looks like incredibly good news. Can these rates of employment be sustained long-term? What happens to the workforce after the wells are drilled and production begins?


Your guides for community and economic impacts are:

Paul Zeph, Pennsylvania Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Action Program who provides an overview of community impacts from drilling in the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania. Read his essay, Marcellus Shale and the Mid-Atlantic Highlands: How Does Drilling Impact Our Forest Health and Local Communities?

Jaffe, Slope Farms, An Open Letter to the NY Farm Bureau - Research shows that Fracking is Shrinking the PA Dairy Industry.


Background Reading:

Read the news stories below and watch the short videos to learn more about local community impacts of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. Note: Links open a new tab/window.

  1. Pennsylvania Stories: Jeff Wheeland, Commissioner of Lycoming County(Marcellus Shale Coalition)

  2. “New Ventures in Natural Gas may take Tioga County from ‘Rags to Riches’”, by Cheryl Clarke, Sun Gazette, February 18, 2010.

  3. “Thousands Turn Out for Gas Industry Job Fair”, by David Thompson, Sun Gazette, May 2, 2010.

  4. “Bradford County Residents See Marcellus Shale Development Changing Their Lives”, by Jennifer Kingsley, Star Gazette, June 5, 2010.

  5. “Natural Gas Could Fuel Job Boom”, by Candy Woodall, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 10, 2010.

  6. The Pennsylvania Marcellus Natural Gas Industry: Status, Economic Impacts and Future Potential. (Considine et al., 2011)

  7. Caught in The Drill Zone, by Sue Smith-Heavenrich, Organic Gardening.

  8. Rural Pennsylvania Town Fights Big Gas, by Jon Hurdle, Reuters, Sept 8, 2010.

  9. Natural Gas Booms Brings Riches to a Rural Pennsylvania Town, by Jon Hurdle, Reuters, April 5, 2010.


Video:

  1. Pennsylvania Stories: Jeff Wheeland, Commissioner of Lycoming County(Marcellus Shale Coalition)

  2. PA Farmers Hope for Natural Gas Windfall