Thanks to advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology, America’s oil and natural gas industry is doing its part to put folks back to work by leveraging our nation’s vast energy reserves into jobs, revenue and opportunity for those who need it. Whether it’s natural gas from the Marcellus or oil from the Bakken, thousands of jobs are being created, local economies are suddenly flourishing and America is strengthening its energy security by the day.
At a public hearing yesterday (click HERE for video) in Williamsport, Pa., members of the state senate heard from local economic and workforce development officials on the economic impact that the natural gas industry is having on the state’s economy. Larry Michael, executive director of Penn College’s Workforce & Economic Development program, summed it up best in this morning’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette:
“We believe that the economic and workforce opportunities are huge,” he said. “The magnitude of this opportunity will not only transform this region of the state but will provide the foundation resources to greatly enhance the overall economic health and job creation opportunities of the commonwealth.”
Industry representatives testifying at the hearing laid out in detail the number of jobs being created:
Perry Harris, northeast U.S. district manager of Halliburton, said the company has 750 state residents on its payroll and is looking for new workers every day. He noted recent development by the company with its facility near Montgomery, where 181 people are employed, and more will be hired.
Michael Narcavage, manager of corporate development for the Chesapeake Energy Corp., said… In the past year, the company has expanded its statewide workforce from about 250 full-time personnel to more than 1,100, many of those jobs in Bradford County, where the majority of the company’s operations are located.
Just to the west of Williamsport in Clinton County, the Lock Haven Express reports today that hundreds of new jobs have arrived in their community as well, thanks entirely to the responsible development of shale gas:
The Marcellus Shale natural gas play dominated Wednesday’s Clinton County Economic Partnership meeting. Partnership President and CEO Mike Flanagan reported about a dozen Marcellus gas-related companies have located in Clinton County, resulting in 200 new direct jobs and having a positive, indirect impact on trucking and construction-related companies in the area.
So what’s at stake if Washington moves to halt or restrict the use of HF?
U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources panel, summed it up best yesterday on the Senate floor: Domestic oil and gas development “will stop very quickly if we can’t continue what is called hydraulic fracturing”
Click HERE to watch this speech
“There is up to 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil using today’s technology [in the Bakken formation], according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That, plus the gas shale plays in much of the country and others, we’re beginning to produce a bit more oil and gas at this point in the country. That will stop very quickly if we can’t continue what is called hydraulic fracturing. That’s a big problem that we have to deal with.”
He went on to defend the safety record of 60-year-old fracturing technology, citing its importance to all states that rely on the successful production of our nation’s natural resources:
“I think most of us in this Senate who come from areas where we produce this fossil energy believe that [hydraulic fracturing] has been done for 50 years without a problem and now it is under some siege. … But we need to continue — and we will — with the production of oil in this country and natural gas.”