Our state senator, Gene Yaw, is really excited about the prospect of exporting Pennsylvania's shale gas to foreign countries.
He wants Pennsylvania to act quickly to build the needed pipeline infrastructure. This will certainly be a boon for gas industry corporate profits but gone are the promises of U.S. energy independence.
Also missing is the touted future of a Pennsylvania-based industrial revolution, grounded in inexpensive shale gas.
The gas industry's extravagant promises of jobs and taxes have also not been fulfilled. Jobs in the core shale industries account for only 4/10's of one percent of Pennsylvania's labor force. Even in Lycoming County, which is currently a hot spot for drilling, gas industry jobs are only 3 percent of the county's work force.
Taxes have also been disappointing. The industry claims it has paid 2 billion dollars in taxes since 2006 or, on average, 250 million dollars per year. On an annual basis, this is only 9/10 of one percent of the state's 28 billion dollar budget.
Pennsylvania is getting very little in return for our billions of dollars of nonrenewable gas assets.
We are sustaining damage to our agriculture, forestry, tourist industries, and losing the future productivity of the land in pads, pipelines, and roads.
Individual home owners in proximity to drilling and gas processing suffer diminished property values while those with leased properties may face insurance, title, and mortgage complications.
Like the coal industry, gas drilling's environmental damage will be largely paid for by taxpayers.
On balance, Marcellus gas drilling is a large economic loss for the state. The question for Senator Yaw is, who do you represent?
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom