Appalachian Basin

The Marcellus – A Local Job Machine

Linde Corp., a Pittston-based construction firm with strong Honesdale connections, is looking to hire hundreds of additional local employees, proving the value of the Marcellus Shale in reviving the economy of our region and raising the quality of life for all who live and make a living here. This sure puts the lie to the oft-stated claim of the opposition folks that natural gas development only creates jobs for Texans, doesn’t it?

Here is what the Times Leader says:

Thanks to the booming gas industry in Pennsylvania’s northern tier, Pittston-based construction company Linde Corp. plans to make hundreds of new hires in the next 18 months, spokesman Kevin Lynn said Friday.

Within three years, the company might double in size to 250 employees, he said.

Linde hired 73 new workers since Jan. 1 to help build a gathering pipeline in Susquehanna County for midstream-pipeline company Laser Marcellus Gathering LLC. Lynn said Linde has built a good relationship with Laser, leading to contract extensions. Linde now has five years’ worth of contract work lined up.

“It’s like baby steps,” Lynn said. “They’ll give you a couple of miles, and if it works, they’ll give you a couple more miles, and that’s what happened with Laser; they got to a certain comfort level and gave (Linde) a lot of work.”

Lynn said Linde is looking to hire a local work force to work year-round, primarily in Susquehanna and Bradford counties.

“We don’t want an environment where people are out of work for months at a time,” Lynn said. “(Linde’s) idea is to keep people employed and busy throughout the year.”

The company is seeking to hire pipe benders, welders, heavy equipment operators, middle and upper level management and general laborers. Positions include family health care policies and 401k packages. Pay is commensurate with experience.

Jobseekers can apply online at

Lynn said the company is willing to hire union members and work with unions to fill jobs, as long as workers can accommodate the job stipulations, including a workday averaging 10 hours and weekend shifts.

Linde, founded in 1965, specializes in laying gathering pipelines, which connect wells to major transmission lines, for gas drillers. The company also uses horizontal directional drilling techniques to lay pipeline below roads and wetlands, in addition to providing general heavy-construction services to a variety of industries.

Marcellus Gathering Project

Linde Pipeline Yard in New Milford, PA

Now, contrast this with the ridiculous assertions of Jannette Barth — an “art economist” — in a widely quoted piece of sophistry entitled “Unanswered Questions About the Economic Impact of Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale: Don’t Jump to Conclusions” where she says, among other things:

However, there has been so little actual, current, unbiased examination of the economic impact that it is fair to say that positive economic impact is more an assertion than a proven fact. It is possible that the net economic impact may be negative for New York State and its counties.

The unsupported assumption of a net economic benefit from gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale is largely based on anecdotal experience and studies from other gas producing states. Decision-makers in New York should be warned that the economies of New York State and the affected counties are different enough from those of other regions with gas drilling that an independent and thorough analysis of the economic impact in New York should be undertaken before decisions with irreversible consequences are taken.

Well, Jannette, the verdict is in.  Linde is hiring hundreds for the Laser Marcellus Gathering project, which will mean new job opportunities for Susquehanna and Broome County residents.  I met one of those employees recently, a young man who lives in Forest City, PA.  He told me about his previous employment, which was largely one of drudgery at low pay and how his employment by Linde on gas related projects had changed his life.  He was able to get training and develop new skills while immediately being put to work on Marcellus projects that paid well and gave him hope he never had before.  He was looking forward to the Laser Marcellus Gathering project and the opportunities this would present to him and his employer.  Marcellus Shale development made a real difference in his life and he couldn’t wait to talk about it.  What a thrill to talk to him and see in his eyes and his attitude how natural gas development is improving the quality of life in our region.

Jannette Barth will probably never have the pleasure of meeting this young man.  It wouldn’t matter to her anyway.  Her mind was made up long before she ever wrote a word of her study and it had nothing to do with economic impacts, as this letter from her to the EPA reveals.  Barth is simply an advocate who pretends otherwise.  She is quoted as an “economist” in hundreds of reports intended to hide the truth about natural gas development – that it meaningfully improves the lives of real people.

Interestingly, Barth’s report is partially based on another economic development study.  She takes statements from this report that promote the importance of agriculture to Broome County to improperly suggest they somehow invalidate the value of natural gas, as if natural gas development and agriculture were incompatible, never explaining why.  How do I know this?  Because I wrote that report, the “Broome County Agricultural Economic Development Plan,” and I know what it says.  Nowhere does it suggest natural gas development is incompatible with agriculture or the quality of rural life.  Indeed, it is exactly the opposite as the above so vividly demonstrates.  Natural gas development is the best thing that has happened for our region in a long, long time.  It is improving lives daily.



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