What They’re Saying: Shale Fueling Job Growth Across the Nation

As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare for their first official face-off, the question of how the next Commander in Chief will recharge America’s economy is at the forefront of America’s mind. Luckily for both candidates, there is one industry charging full speed ahead – American energy.

As USA Today highlighted this week: “of all the places that America’s new jobs are, the emerging energy business, directly or indirectly, might be responsible for more of them than almost anything else.”

From USA Today:

“Since 2002, the exploration of natural gas deposits embedded in shale, followed by oil drilling that began in earnest late in the decade, has created more than 1 million jobs, says Moody’s Analytics economist Chris Lafakis. That’s out of 2.7 million the whole country created. ‘It’s really huge,’ Lafakis says. ‘And the jobs pay very well.’

“Jobs directly in the oil and gas extraction business pay an average of just under $150,000 a year, Lafakis says — almost exactly three times the national average.”

“…Just counting positions directly in the energy industry, the shale boom has accounted for as many as 33,000 new U.S. jobs this year, according to Bright Labs, a San Francisco start-up whose website provides job-hunt data and tips.

“More than 3,500 are in metropolitan Houston, Bright says. But the job expansion stretches through cities of all sizes. Oklahoma City’s 400 jobs are near the top of the list, Bright says. Denver, Pittsburgh, and Williston, N.D. — all near newly exploitable oil and gas deposits — are also seeing big changes from shale for shale-related jobs.”

“…In Pennsylvania, where officials say shale added 18,000 new energy industry jobs between 2008 and last year, another 5,000 jobs were added for freight trucking, and 500 more were  created to build roads, according to a state-sponsored study this summer.”

As the U.S. works to create jobs for the 8.3 percent of Americans still unemployed, the development of America’s shale reserves is creating opportunities from the well pad to the law firm. And with natural gas development occurring in over 30 states across the nation, the possibilities are limitless.

Red or Blue — swing or decided — here’s what they’re saying across the states about the real numbers surrounding shale development:

California: Southern Monterey County land to be leased for oil development. “We really could have the kind of economic renaissance that has occurred in other states that are developing their shale resources, like Pennsylvania,” said Dave Quast, California director of Energy in Depth, a group that’s pushing back against public concerns over fracking.  (Santa Cruz Sentinel9/28/2012)

California:  Shale development in California Could Fuel Economic Boom. “Underneath the Central Coast which some people estimate could contain as much as 15 billion barrels of oil,” says Dave Quast with energy industry advocacy group Energy In Depth, “so there is potential for more development even more then what we have, we’re the fourth largest energy producing state.” Quast says there are popular misconceptions that hydraulic fracturing is a threat to public health and the environment. “There’s this myth that this is something that is new and somehow controversial”, Quast says, “this is a well proven technique that has been used safely for more than 60 years for wells that were fractured back in the 1940’s.” (KCOY TV, 10/1/2012)

Ohio: Drilling creates slew of work. Dan Alfaro, a spokesman for industry advocate Energy In Depth, said competition for workers is a sign of a strong economy, and that has been missing in this state. “The Ohio job market has been competitive, but for all of the wrong reasons, as opportunities have been scarce,” he said. “The development of the Utica Shale is changing that.” (Mansfield News Journal9/30/2012)

Ohio: As more law firms turn attention to shale boom, most say there’s enough work to go around. The emerging shale industry in Ohio — projected to bring billions of dollars of investment to the state over the next few years — has been a cash carrot enticing businesses with the promise of new jobs, developments and infrastructure improvement. (Crains Cleveland Business10/2/2012)

Ohio: Shale a $10B boost. The shale boom will explode the Ohio economy by adding $10 billion to it by 2014, Linda Woggon, executive vice president of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and executive director of the Ohio Shale Coalition, said. (Warren Tribune Chronicle9/30/12)

Louisiana: Chemical industry on a rebound. Today, gas is roughly $3 per MMBTUs, while oil is about $90 per barrel – about a 30-to-1 ratio. “That makes Louisiana incredibly competitive,” he said. Borné said there is a lot of activity in the chemical industry, which has added 1,000 jobs a year for the last three years. He said Methanex is going to dismantle a methanol plant in Chile and move it to Geismar and is considering another facility in Geismar. (Associated Press9/29/2012)

Pennsylvania: We Shale Overcome. “Mariner East is a critical step in beginning to realize the vision outlined in the Delaware County Industrial Development Authority’s study on repurposing the Marcus Hook industrial site,” said County Council boss Tom McGarrigle.” State Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of nearby Chester, zeroed in on the importance of this deal to Marcus Hook. “It’s great to see new investments in historic industrial sites. This project shows what’s possible when companies take the long view. It also opens the door to other potential investments in Marcus Hook. (Delaware County Daily Times, Editorial, 9/30/2012)

West Virginia: The Future Of Jobs In Kanawha Valley. The Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas could see a large amount of job opportunities opening up in the next few years all thanks to the Marcellus Shale.  (WCHS Radio9/29/2012)

Michigan: Hydraulic fracturing will provide new energy, jobs for region. Barry County and Michigan can certainly benefit from the direct new jobs and income that may result from the growing energy industry. Michigan-based businesses and residents may also benefit from gaining access to locally-sourced energy, allowing potential new investments through energy savings. (Michigan Live, LTE, 9/17/2012)

Texas: Shale plays create significant job opportunities. Shale gas is a portion of that, with Texas plays in Barnett in the north-central region, Haynesville/Bossier to the east and Eagle Ford to the south. “It’s only been recently that technology exists to get the gas out of the ground cheaply,” said Richard Meserole, vice president and general manager at Fluor in Sugar Land. (Houston Chronicle9/13/2012)

North Dakota: Oil boom bright spot in Midwest economy. Little or no economic growth is likely this year in most of the nine Midwest and Plains states covered by a survey of business leaders, but the booming oil business will continue to drive growth in North Dakota and Oklahoma, according to the report released Monday. … North Dakota’s state economic index hit 61.6 in September, and Oklahoma’s registered 56.6 thanks to the oil boom. (Post Bulletin10/2/2012)

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