The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Shale = Energy, Economic Growth

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 3, 2011

Energy from shale is a game-changer - and a no-brainer - for America. Evidence abounds.

Economic growth? Williamsport, Pa., in the heart of the Marcellus Shale formation, was the country's seventh-fastest growing city in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is in charge of knowing such things. Williamsport's growth rate: 7.8 percent - which locals attribute to shale energy development. "This growth is clearly one of the most accurate measure to date of the overpowering influence of the natural gas industry in the region," said the Williamsport Sun-Gazette in an editorial. Here's more:

"We are well aware of the resistance to the industry of some and share the belief that the industry must be monitored closely for environmental safeguarding. ... But blanket resistance to the industry is foolhardy and dismissive of the very real formula for coexistence of the industry, its economic benefits and our environment. That reality can be achieved and is being achieved for the most part right now by an open partnership between the industry and the state's environmental safety structure, with continual re-evaluation by both parties of what needs to be done to preserve both the economic potential and environmental safety. The economic growth from the industry is beyond dispute and worthy of solutions, not the systematic, negative stonewalling that comes from some quarters."

That's macro. For the micro-economic effects, The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa., notes the high demand for CDL drivers that's being driven by Marcellus Shale development. We're talking about jobs that pay $17 to $18 an hour to start. "We're always hiring for drivers," Lisa Stanchick, human resources director for a Mifflinville company, told the newspaper.

Over on, Paul Driessen returns to the big picture: 110,000 direct and secondary jobs in the Barnett Shale region and billions added in property and sales tax revenue and 72,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in state tax revenue reported by Pennsylvania officials. Driessen:

"This is free enterprise in action. It pays its own way. It doesn't need subsidies, mandates, tariffs, or bureaucrats and politicians deciding which companies and industries win or lose. (Hydraulic fracturing) generates real, sustainable jobs, plus significant tax and royalty revenue, right here in America."

Industry is committed to responsible development and getting shale right, the opportunity for security, jobs, and growth is too great not to do so. But we need policymakers to make that same commitment. As Driessen notes: "Shale gas is an energy policy game-changer. The last thing we need is more laws, regulations and policies based on misrepresentations and fabrications ..." Get the facts at


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.