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A Point-of-View paper from 2012 E-Forum

The “Frac” Attack

Thousands of meters below the grounds of Pennsylvania lay abundant amounts of natural gas which have been transformed into economic resources that benefit Pennsylvania. This natural gas is encased in Devonian Age shale referred to as the Marcellus Shale. The recent development of Marcellus Shale drilling has positively affected Pennsylvania’s economy over the past four years by creating jobs and opportunities, aiding the Commonwealth in recovering from the lengthy recession, and assisting the United States in breaking its foreign dependence on natural gas and oil.

The recent recession saw thousands of eliminated jobs, leaving many Pennsylvanians unemployed in all fields of work. Tens of thousands of new opportunities have been produced through the application of the retrieval of natural gas from Marcellus Shale and many more are still being shaped with its expansion. Not only are new opportunities within the field being created, but additional, indirect careers are being expanded. Through the drilling of Marcellus Shale, employment such as construction, logging, education, health services, and local commodities are being offered. Not only are jobs being offered, but opportunities are being presented to break into the work field as entrepreneurs.

The state has always relied upon products from outside sources. The extraction of natural gas in the state itself allows Pennsylvania to export its natural resources for a profit. This has effectively drawn the state from the stronghold of the recession. The technological development of “fracing” has enabled well-borne natives to extract a larger commercial quantity of natural gas than any other method has proved to in the past. Not only has the introduction of Marcellus Shale drilling relieved the pressures of the recession, but it has also stimulated the local economy by effectively extracting the natural resources found within the grounds of Pennsylvania.

The use of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formations in the Northeastern United States aids the U.S. in breaking their dependence on foreign natural gas and oil. Importing oil and natural gas from the Middle East expensive and problematic. The major problem is that the United States’ oil and gas situation is beyond control. In the general areas of where gas or oil comes from, consumers pay the same price. If that gas is purchased over seas the consumer is ultimately providing foreign aid to that country, whereas if the gas is purchased from the United States, money is flowing throughout the U.S. economy rather than a foreign country. The gas boom will help break our risky dependence on foreign imports.

Pennsylvania has an abundance of natural resources, such as oil and natural gas. Through the developments of drilling and “fracing” the Marcellus Shale, these resources have been conservatively used in the state and Appalachian region. The exportation of this natural gas has effectively boosted Pennsylvania’s economy, further defining Pennsylvania as a keystone state. The introduction of horizontal fracturing has increased employment rate, provided opportunities for further advancement, and will continue to break foreign dependency on oil and natural gas.

      References Wright, R. T. (2008). Environmental science toward a sustainable future. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.