The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - July 6, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted July 6, 2011

Forbes: Report Shows Okla.'s Economy Continues to Expand: Fueled in large part by the booming oil and natural gas industry, Oklahoma's economy continues to expand at an accelerating pace, with gross receipts for June outpacing the same month last year by more than 15 percent, state Treasurer Ken Miller said Tuesday. Miller released figures that show total collections by the Oklahoma Tax Commission for every major tax category in June exceeded the amount collected in June 2010. His report shows gross collections topped $1 billion, an increase of more than $134 million, or 15.5 percent, from the same time last year. "Month after month, Oklahoma's economy gains steam," said Miller, an economist and former Republican state lawmaker elected treasurer last year. "Gross receipts are encouraging from top to bottom. Again this month, every major category shows growth. Especially strong were earnings and consumption." New York Post: How Fracking Can Rescue Upstate: Independence Day celebrations were a little sweeter this year for the depressed communities of New York's Southern Tier, after the state Department of Environmental Conservation recommended lifting the ban on the hydrofracturing, or "fracking." Fracking would allow firms to harvest the trillions of cubic feet of natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation along the New York Pennsylvania border -- bringing potentially thousands of jobs to this economically hard-pressed region. In Bradford County, Pa., only miles from New York, the 2009 unemployment rate of 10 percent has been halved because of Marcellus gas development. In towns near Towanda, once one of Pennsylvania's poorest regions, "help wanted" signs decorate roadside businesses. Wages are rising rapidly. Even New York firms that service the Pennsylvania gas industry are creating jobs here. RB Robinson, a small family construction business in Candor, NY, had eight full-time employees in 2009. Today, it provides full- and part-time work for 120 people. Not only are the job numbers rising, but also the work weeks average 60 to 70 hours, pumping more dollars into the local economy and state tax coffers.

Houston Chronicle: Petrochemicals: It's not all about Texas: Cheap and abundant natural gas has revitalized the Gulf Coast's petrochemical industry, after demand for its plastic products took a beating in the recession. But some of the chemical comeback isn't coming back to Texas. Discussions about the industry's growth are increasingly focused a thousand miles northeast, in the booming Marcellus Shale region. The natural gas cocktail buried in that Appalachian rock is rich in ethane, the raw material used to create the ethylene that produces many types of plastics. While the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas offers the same bounty, some industry analysts say the Northeast holds a strategic advantage in its proximity to manufacturers who mold plastic consumer goods...Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which cover the majority of the Marcellus Shale formation, produced a combined 538 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the energy agency. But production in those states grew more rapidly, 38 percent from 2005 to 2009. The growing chemical industry is an economic boon for regions that capture a share of it. In a March report, the American Chemistry Council calculated that a 25 percent increase in domestic ethane production would generate 17,000 jobs in the chemical industry and $16.2 billion in capital investments in new and expanded plants.

Additional Resources:

Cincinnati.com: Raising Taxes on Oil Doesn't Make Sense

Big Sky Business Journal: Governor Supports Keystone XL

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.