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NY Economic Development Leaders Talk Responsible Shale Gas Development, Job Potentials

Earlier this week, hundreds of concerned New Yorkers made the trek to Albany to tell state leaders the time is now to move forward with responsible, 21st century shale gas production in the state. Cold weather and a driving rain didn’t deter the scores of landowners, county and state legislators and everyday working families who are committed to strengthening New York’s economy.

And building on Monday’s groundswell of support, yesterday the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce met to discuss the economic potentials presented by responsibly developing natural gas in the Marcellus shale. The economic impact – as we’ve both written and reported – would be staggering. Here are a few highlights from the event that were covered by the local media.

WICZ-TV reports this under the headline “Marcellus Shale Could Be a Gold Mine”:

Natural Gas supporters say the Southern Tier is sitting on a gold mine … in the form of the Marcellus Shale.

“In terms of the world, resources for oil or natural gas, this is second only to the middle east,” said Rayola Dougher, Senior Economic Advisor for the American Petroleum Institute. The formation is 10 times larger than the Barnett Shale in Texas. Supporters say drilling there increased jobs in the area by about 100,000… and they insist those jobs won’t go away after the wells are drilled.

“With more money coming into the community, more people will be eating out, going out for entertainment and recreation,” said Terry Stark of Broome-Tioga Workforce. “Jobs are leaving our area, our children are leaving our area. We need to bring this opportunity here and really capitalize on it.”

WBNG-TV went with the headline “Gas Drilling Could Mean Economic Opportunity.” Key excerpts from their report:

If New York State gives companies the green light to begin drilling, the natural gas industry could help bring about an economic revival in Broome County. The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce examined the possibilities today during an economic development forum.

A panel of gas drilling experts say hundreds of jobs would stimulate Broome’s economy, but that’s only if New York State allows natural gas drilling to move forward.

“The Marcellus Shale is going to be a real game changer in the United States and especially for this region of the country. It’s going to mean economic growth, it’s going to mean new jobs, it’s going to attract manufacturing jobs to the area,” said Rayola Dougher, Senior Economic Advisor from the American Petroleum Institute.

Panelists claim more than 1,000 local jobs will be created in Greater Binghamton.

The Binghamton Press & Bulletin reports this under the headline “Chamber forum argues in favor of gas drilling”:

The panel — made up of representatives from county government and work force development, the American Petroleum Institute and Chesapeake Energy — touted new jobs, both direct and indirect, and other economic benefits that would come from any local drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

“The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce strongly supports natural gas exploration as long as adequate policies are developed to protect our environment and infrastructure,” said Lou Santoni, president and CEO of the chamber, which presented the forum, held Tuesday at the Binghamton Regency Hotel and Conference Center. “We believe that the county and DEC are ready to do that.”

“This is a major job creation opportunity and probably the largest job creation catalyst by one industry,” Deputy County Executive Darcy Fauci said.

And News 10 Now reports this a segmented entitled “Business-friendly forum supports gas drilling”:

“I’d like to see this get moving,” said Chris Ostrowsky, a Conklin landowner. “New York is in dire need of something to go on here and it’s right under our feet, literally.”

A series of speakers at Tuesday’s forum said this is the area’s best hope for a bright economic tomorrow.

“We’re talking billions of dollars of economic activity, you’re talking millions in state and local revenue. I think it’s going to transform the region,” said Rayola Dougher, a senior economic advisor with the American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group.

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