The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 13, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal: America Needs the Shale Revolution: The U.S. is on the verge of an industrial renaissance if--and it's a big if--policy makers don't foul it up by restricting the ability of drillers to use the technology that's making a renaissance possible: hydraulic fracturing. The shale drilling boom now underway in Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and other states is already creating jobs, slashing natural-gas prices, and spurring billions of dollars of investment in new production capacity for critical commodities like steel and petrochemicals. Better yet, it's spurring a huge increase in domestic oil production, which has been falling steadily since the 1970s... The drilling industry itself is creating jobs. Over the past 12 months, some 48,000 people were hired in Pennsylvania by companies working in the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit that underlies several Eastern states, including Pennsylvania and New York. While the Pennsylvania economy is getting a much-needed lift from drilling, opposition in New York may mean that the state loses out on jobs and investment. A new study by Tim Considine, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming, estimates that drilling in the Marcellus Shale could add as many as 15,000 new jobs to the New York economy by 2015. The study, conducted for the Manhattan Institute (a think tank where I am a senior fellow), estimated that shale drilling in New York could add some $1.7 billion to the state's economy by 2015 and increase the state's tax revenue by more than $200 million. Chicago Tribune: Desolate South Texas Towns Enjoy First Major Oil Shale Boom in Rush to Frack Eagle Ford Shale: For generations, Cotulla has been a town where even the paved roads had the aura of the dusty, saloon-lined paths from old Western movies. Cowboys, ranchers and shop owners tied their livelihood to the hunting season. Young people left to escape double-digit unemployment and poverty rates. Now, the challenge is all the people pouring in. Cotulla, about 90 miles south of San Antonio, and nearby towns are rushing to house hundreds of workers and approve plans for apartment complexes and industrial parks to keep up with the development of the Eagle Ford shale formation, one of the most plentiful new oil fields in the country. After several years of preliminary work, the project is fully under way and sales tax revenues are soaring. Municipalities are paving roads, laying water lines and creating parks while trying to avoid being overextended when the boom tapers off...The economic transformation is the result of a new drilling method, hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling, that allows companies to extract oil and gas from impermeable layers of shale. Major industry players have joined the Eagle Ford project, including Anadarko, Range Resources and Shell.

Alaska Dispatch: Hispanic Leaders Call on U.S. Department of State to Issue Keystone XL Pipeline Permit: A varied group of Hispanic leaders is calling on the U.S. State Department to issue a permit that will allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built and operated. Support for the pipeline, along with impatience about how long the process is taking, is being expressed by leaders from Hispanic organizations, including veterans, business, professional, trade, grassroots and other groups. "Keystone XL is an important project for America's future, and it's important to the Hispanic community, America's fastest-growing population and business segment," said Saul Valentin, national chairman of the National Hispanic Professionals Organization. Hispanic leaders say America's energy security, economy and environment are all reasons they have joined together to urge the U.S. Department of State to move the project forward.

Additional Resources:

NOLA.com: Exxon's New Oil Find in the Gulf of Mexico Shows Why Obama Administration Needs to Speed Up Drilling Permits

Houston Chronicle: Investments in Deep Water Strengthens Energy Supply

Energy In Depth: MIT: United States has 92-Year Supply of Natural Gas, World 160 Years

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.