Contemptible words

I have no words to express my contempt for the wildly exaggerated claim made by David Spigelmyer of the Marcellus Shale Coalition in his recent oped in the Sun-Gazette. He wrote, “According to a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers study, natural gas development supports more than 320,000 jobs and contributes $45 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy.”

This extraordinary claim is part of the American Petroleum Institute’s strategy of commissioning dishonest studies to bully the Commonwealth into concessions on taxes, environmental protections, and access to public lands.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put gas exploration into “Mining and Logging,” which includes miners, loggers, and quarry workers in Pennsylvania. In January of 2007, there were 20,700 employees in this category. With the coming of Marcellus drilling, the numbers increased until January of 2015, when 39,000 jobs were reported.

It’s logical to credit the Marcellus industry with these 18,300 added jobs. After that the gas industry began to decline, so by August of 2017 only 23,800 mining and logging jobs were left, 3,100 being in the gas industry. Without the industry’s dishonest hype, these jobs would be hardly noticeable in the state’s almost 6,000,000 person labor force.

Jon Bogle

Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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