Just The Facts: Anti-Marcellus Activist’s Distortions About Natural Gas Jobs Unsupported by the Facts

As reported by New York’s WBGH-TV, Jannette Barth – a leading voice against responsible, job-creating Marcellus Shale gas development – is set to again question the thousands of blue-collar, natural gas-related jobs being created in the region at a New York Residents Against Drilling (NYRAD)-sponsored forum later this week.

While many questions exist about the Marcellus Shale’s economic potential – enabled by horizontal drilling advancements coupled with hydraulic fracturing, an environmentally-proven oil and natural gas stimulation technology used safely more than 1.1 million times throughout the United States – one element of this historic development is as instantly recognizable as it unquestionable: Shale development is helping create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs at a time when they’re most needed.

Sure, Ms. Barth has conducted “analysis of market trends for works by individual artists; examples of artists include Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Larry Rivers,” but how do her claims, founded upon what that Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls “a thin, 15-page report”, stand up against an Energy In Depth fact check?

Ms. Barth’s Claims About
Marcellus-Related Jobs …
… Continue to be at
Odds With Reality
“Shale gas drilling will not be an economic benefit to the region in the medium to long term. It will be a boom-and-bust cycle, and our upstate New York area may suffer economically if shale gas drilling is permitted.” (Press & Sun-Bulletin, Barth LTE,1/21/11)

  • NOTE: New York State’s economy lost 22,600 private sector jobs…in December 2010, the State Labor Department reported today. … The number of unemployed New York State residents [is] 792,800 in December 2010. (NY State Dept. of Labor Release, 1/20/11)

“The studies used to support the claim that drilling will bring economic benefits to New York are either biased, dated, seriously flawed, or simply not applicable to the region that would be affected,” said Barth. (Ithaca Journal, 4/1/10)

“Marcellus Shale growth beyond Pittsburgh”:Natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale continues to be such a driver of business development in the Pittsburgh region it can be easy to forget the rock formation stretches far beyond our borders. But while New York continues its moratorium on drilling, (you can check out what theMarcellus Shale Coalition has to say about that here), West Virginia and the northern stretches of Pennsylvania have jumped on the gravy train at least as much as we have. (Pittsburgh Business Times,1/24/10)“Progress at energy park moving forward”: According to Fish, Weatherford has hired between 50 and 100 people and is planning numerous expansion projects at the site, Fish said. The two new companies will create between 10 and 50 jobs. GE Oil and Gas, an energy development division of General Electric Co., has already hired five people locally and is training them at other company facilities, he said. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette,1/22/10) 
Small Business Looks to Double Employment Rolls: A new business involved in the Marcellus Shale industry was given the green light Friday by the township supervisors to move into the Alta Vista park. … The company is outgrowing the site, said Joseph Sites, president of Horizontal Wireline Services. … Sites said the company has 45 employees and hopes to double that number within two years. (Monessen Valley Independent, 1/22/11)
Nearly 23k Marcellus-Related Jobs Created in W.Va. in ’10
: Highlighted by the possible creation of 22,928 new West Virginia jobs this year, University of Wyoming professor Timothy J. Considine’s report, “The Economic Impacts of the Marcellus Shale: Implications for New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” shows Marcellus activity boosted the Mountain State’s economy by $1.3 billion in 2009. (Wheeling Intelligencer, 1/22/11)
“Construction firm will add to work force”
: Linde Construction plans to add 11 workers in January and 50 more over the next three months to keep pace with its growing presence in the natural gas industry. The construction contractor lays pipeline to transport natural gas from wells, constructs drill pads and repaves roads throughout the region. …The company…has increased from 175 employees in July 2009 to 225 today. Its growth stems from the natural gas being harvested from Pennsylvania’s vast Marcellus Shale deposits. … “We think the natural gas business here will prosper for the next 30 years and we want to be part of it.” (Citizens Voice, 1/20/11)
Allegheny Co. Exec. and fmr. PA Dem. gubernatorial candidate backs responsible shale gas production, cites jobs
: [Dan] Onorato said when announcing he won’t seek re-election that he intends to devote his remaining 11 months in the county’s top office to three issues, including increasing flight service at Pittsburgh International and opening 9,000 acres surrounding the Findlay airport to natural gas drilling. … Officials and observers say added money from natural-gas drilling could reduce the authority’s $485 million debt, which could lower airport costs and spur growth and development that would benefit the region. (Tribune-Review, 1/24/11)
Thousands of Marcellus-Related Jobs En Route to Southwestern PA
: [Larry Larese, Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp.], predicts that by 2020, Westmoreland County could see as many as 1,000 new jobs related to Marcellus shale drilling and another 2,000 positions created through related industries to support the natural gas wells. (Tribune-Review, 1/18/11)
Family-Owned, NY Small Businessman: “Gas could be accelerant for economy”
: According tofarmers and machinery dealers in northern Pennsylvania, times are good. Jobs are plentiful, restaurants are busy, housing is at a premium and the royalties from gas drilling are being paid. This technology is not new. States like Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Kentucky have done this for years, but in New York, we wring our hands and worry. (Oneonta Daily Star, 1/18/11)
“Drilling of the Marcellus Shale for natural gas has created thousands of new jobs in the area”
: In Washington County, which began billing itself as the “Energy Capital of the East” last year, the growth of companies involved with the exploration and drilling of the Marcellus Shale for natural gas has created thousands of new jobs in the area. Southpointe alone now counts more than 50 energy-related companies, while other smaller drilling and supply companies have taken up residence in various locations within the county. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 1/17/10)
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