“Drilling activity being down is actually a good thing, in my opinion,” Representative Mike Hanna assured us last week.
Because of decreasing commodity prices for natural gas, the number of wells being drilled in the region has decreased substantially. Consequently, this lull in drilling is providing the time necessary to understand the impact that drilling his having, and time to develop the infrastructure and support services needed for the future of the Marcellus region. Hanna noted the number of water pipelines under construction that take water up to drilling sites, will have the benefit of greatly reducing truck traffic on local roads. In addition, constructing new pipelines necessary to move the gas into the market are not only adding jobs, but have created new habitats in state game lands (where the representative recently enjoyed some turkey hunting!).
Hanna also applauded the positive economic impact that the Marcellus Shale has had already in the creation of jobs. The Marcellus Shale Education and Training Center produced an early report on the impact of the region which showed that 30 percent of businesses in Bradford County alone attributed increased sales to the development of natural gas. Businesses across the region have reported higher rates of activity in hotels, construction, transportation, eating and drinking places, wholesale trade and financial services. In 2009, it is estimated that the Marcellus Shale added 23,385 jobs and $1.9 billion to the economy of Pennsylvania.
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