Pro Marcellus rally in Harrisburg
Today in Harrisburg a Pro-Marcellus rally was held at the State Capitol. The same old rhetoric was heard; and an interview was presented with an individual who works for the Pro-Drilling group; the Marcellus Shale Coalition. His interview plays on the emotions of the reader like a virtuoso bowing a Stradavarius .
The past president of the Westmoreland County 4-H board, said “I’ve spent a lot of time talking to FFA and 4-H families, and it’s fun to hear their stories about how they have been able to maintain their farms … because of the opportunities in the Marcellus Shale.”
Ah yes, we can save the Family Farm if we just lease part of our land and let them drill. Never mind all of the problems people have faced with drinking water in areas where wells have been drilled.
Our esteemed Governor wants to use the ‘jobs’ mantra as an excuse to keep on drilling, with minmal limitations and the McPermit operations (you know, the 35-72 minute approval process) to keep wells going. Of course, his own Department of Labor and Industry refutes the job creation data; with data on their site that indicates the total number of jobs created is much lower. DLI reports Gas Drilling jobs in the Logging and Mining report. There are a total of 30,000 jobs in that group as of 2011, with 6100 jobs created in 2010. For perspective–leasure and hospitality and manufacturing each employ over 500,000 people; which is 1/6th of the PA workforce of 6.4 Million. Marcellus shale employes somwhere around 40-50,000; or less than 1%. Big employment numbers. Even the best estimates say there will only be 200,000 jobs created by the end of this decade; less than 5% of the total workforce in PA. Oddly enough, Alternative energy estimates (conservative figures) are around 350,000 jobs; nearly double that of Marcellus Shale; and with less envrionmental impact.
Yes, many of the regions where Marcellus drilling is happening in PA have lower unemployment numbers than the rest of the state; but at what cost? Liberal estimates place the total economic impact of Marcellus Shale at around $35 Billion by the end of the decade; yet agriculture, tourism and recreation already have a nearly $400 billion impact.More wells means less of the others that contribute 10x what shale drilling does. Already sportsmen are seeing impacts; from fish kills and inedible fish; to tainted deer meat
Which of these industries do you think holds more promise for our future?