The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - May 20, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted May 20, 2011

MSNBC: Pa. Water Utility Doesn't Find Drilling Pollution: Several tests of western Pennsylvania river water prompted by fears of contamination from the state's rapidly growing natural gas drilling industry didn't turn up elevated or harmful levels of radioactivity or other pollutants not routinely monitored, a private water utility said Monday. The Pennsylvania American Water Co. said its tests showed that its water quality complies with federal and states standards...State regulators have previously said that tests from samples they collected in November through February of water downriver from western Pennsylvania treatment plants raised no red flags for radioactivity. Observer Today: Marcellus Shale Brings 'Positive Impact': Development of the Marcellus Shale is likely to have a tremendous positive impact on our state and national economies and contribute mightily to our country's energy security. At a time when so many of our neighbors are out of work or underemployed, and our country is dangerously dependent on unstable and unreliable foreign sources of energy, an opportunity like this to generate jobs here at home and reduce our vulnerability to supply disruptions abroad is a real godsend. The Marcellus shale stretches from West Virginia and Ohio through much of Pennsylvania, and covers a substantial portion of the lower half of New York State. It is estimated to contain up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it, potentially, the second-largest gas field in the world. New York's portion of those reserves could be as much as 50 trillion cubic feet. Drilling the Marcellus in Pennsylvania during a two year period ending in 2010 created 44,000 jobs. Similar performance is expected in New York with the addition of $11.4 billion to the New York economy over the next ten years if development is allowed to take place.

Townhall: Blame Taxes, Not "Big Oil": Contrary to the soundbytes, the broadly available tax provisions under attack in the Senate bill are not special "subsidies" from taxpayers because they don't account for a single cent in federal spending. What's more, their removal would likely not help to reduce our national debt since Democrats have expressed their hope to use the money raised from these tax hikes to subsidize unproven "green" technologies. One such "subsidy" is actually a credit known as Section 199 and applies to all domestic producers -- from music producers to soft drink manufacturers. Note that the Finance Committee has yet to call Sony or Coca-Cola to testify on the massive "subisidies" they're receiving through perfectly legitimate tax credits. Another target is the "dual capacity" protection, which prevents American firms from being taxed twice on income earned abroad. If the IRS were to double tax U.S. multinationals, they would be put at an enormous competitive disadvantage. Even after these deductions, U.S. oil and gas firms contribute billions each year to local, state, and federal coffers. Oil companies may make for a convenient scapegoat, but the bottom line is that increasing taxes on American energy is a recipe for higher prices, reduced supplies, fewer jobs and questionable impact on reducing our national debt.

New York Post: Phony Fears on Fracking: The additives used in "fracking" fluid are well known. Last summer, nine drilling companies provided the US Environmental Protection Agency with detailed information on those chemicals. We know that 99.5 percent of fracking fluid is water and sand. The rest is comprised of commonly used compounds -- many of them chemicals used in water treatment, pharmaceuticals and automotive care...Natural-gas exploration is an economic necessity, both for the Southern Tier and for reducing our dependence on higher priced, out-of-state natural gas supplies. Opposing gas exploration without any credible evidence of danger to our water supply isn't in the best interest of our economy. Creating upward of 20,000 good-paying jobs in upstate New York and generating millions of dollars in taxes and fees for our state treasury would reduce future deficits and ensure the success of Gov. Cuomo's approach to leaner, smarter government -- and guarantees state pensioners will earn a return on DiNapoli's wise investment of public funds

Additional Resources

Inside Indiana Business: Petroleum President

Commonwealth Foundation's Policy Blog: Local Residents Tout Benefits of Marcellus Drilling

The Hill's Congress Blog: Senate Energy Bills Were a Missed Opportunity

Sun Gazette: Drilling Transforming Williamsport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.