Report: Marcellus Shale ‘creating thousands of jobs and turning farmers into millionaires’

PA Landowner says the Marcellus “has been a God send in tough times”

Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV, the region’s CBS affiliate, takes a close look at the positive benefits that responsible, well-regulated natural gas production in the Marcellus shale is having on the economically depressed region. The jobs, revenue and wealth-creating natural gas is trapped thousands of feet below the surface in dense, tight rock formations. But thanks to a 60-year old energy production technique called hydraulic fracturing – that is heavily regulated by states – this environmentally-safe production, and the associated jobs and economic growth, is possible.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

“We believe that this will be the largest job-creating mechanism that this Commonwealth has seen in many generations,” said Matt Pitzarella, of Range Resources.

Companies like Range Resources have shifted drilling into high gear with 400 wells this year and as many as a thousand anticipated for next.

The new industry has created 50,000 new jobs in the state and everyday land movers are plowing new roads and creating new drilling pads.

Range Resources has created seven new millionaires and paid out $20 million in royalties to lease holders like Mary Dalbo who says she can’t worry about what the neighbors might think.

But back at the Hoskin Farm, life goes on and Roji Hoskin says the drilling has been a God send in tough times.

“I’m not going to be rich,” she says. “I’ll have a few more dollars than I have now though. I can tell you that.”

** Click HERE to watch this segment.

And this welcomed economic activity and energy security isn’t just occurring in the Northeast. In fact, in many traditional energy-producing states new resources are being discovered and accessed. Today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune reports this about a new shale play – the mid-Bossier Shale – in Louisiana under the headline “Another natural gas discovery in north Louisiana could rival the Haynesville Shale”:

Another natural gas discovery in north Louisiana could rival the Haynesville Shale, which last year incited a gold-rush style drilling boom when it was revealed that the underground rock layer held one of the biggest gas reserves in the country.

The presence of the mid-Bossier Shale – which is stacked on top of the Haynesville, about 500 feet closer to the earth’s surface – was no secret among energy producers. In fact, prospectors were actually looking to tap the mid-Bossier Shale when they realized the potential of the Haynesville Shale below it, said Joan Dunlap, a spokeswoman for Houston’s Petrohawk Energy Corp., one of the biggest landholders in the Haynesville area.

But despite the overwhelming economic expansion through the responsible development of clean-burning, homegrown shale gas, some remain committed to undercutting these positive developments, as well as the good-paying jobs, revenue and payments to landowners like Roji Hoskin.

The New York Times (no fan of safe, American energy production) reports today that a fringe group called Environment America is part of a broader environmentalists effort who are “beefing up efforts to increase regulation of a controversial oil and gas drilling technique as interest grows in tapping vast natural gas fields across the country.” But Energy In Depth was sure the facts – which are squarely on the side of fracking’s long and clear record – were presented.

An Energy In Depth spokesman tells the Times this:

“The additives involved in fracturing are used to change the surface tension of the water — a function of the fact that, under normal conditions, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to coax water 10,000 feet down a well. In shallower plays, alternate materials are absolutely used,” said Chris Tucker, a spokesman for Energy In Depth, an industry-backed group, in response to the report’s suggestion to replace chemicals with safer alternatives.

He added that fluids are already being sent to wastewater treatment facilities, especially in the mid-Atlantic. And in response to the call for drilling away from drinking water sources, Tucker said, “Done. America’s shale plays reside thousands of feet below water aquifers — in some cases, tens of thousands of feet.”

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