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Study calculates shale energy's economic, jobs impact

By , - Last modified: December 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Pennsylvania's shale gas industry supports more than 100,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs and will support more than 220,000 jobs by 2020, contributing $26.7 billion to the state's economy, according to a study co-sponsored by the Institute for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Nationwide, the shale oil and gas industries will create 1.5 million jobs by 2015 and 3 million jobs by 2020, said the study prepared by energy research firm IHS. Companies invested $87.3 million in the industry in 2012 and that figure will grow to $353 million by 2035, for a net total investment of more than $5 trillion, IHS said.

Pennsylvania ranks No. 2, behind Texas, in shale energy jobs, the report said.

“Shale energy is a game changer for America and for Pennsylvania,” Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the institute, said in a statement.

Shale gas activity in 2012 will generate $1.2 billion in state and local taxes and fees in Pennsylvania, not including the more than $200 million in impact fees collected this year, the HIS study said.

The study credits Pennsylvania with 25,628 direct shale-industry jobs in 2012.

“Shale energy has already provided a major boost to our state, and this study clearly demonstrates that Pennsylvania will see even more jobs and revenue in the coming years,” Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, said in a statement.

Critics have charged that industry studies overstate shale’s jobs impact. Last year, the Keystone Research Center, reacting to reports that the industry had created 48,000 jobs, reviewed state jobs figures and determined that the core industries in Marcellus Shale development created a significantly smaller 9,288 jobs between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2010, a period of major industry ramp-up, and that ancillary industries had lost employment.

Joining the institute to underwrite the IHS study were the American Petroleum Institute, American Chemistry Council, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and the Natural Gas Supply Association.



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