PITTSBURGH – Yesterday, Gov. Tom Corbett addressed more than 3,000 attendees at this year’s Developing Unconventionals East Conference in Pittsburgh which focused on the significant impact of the Marcellus and Utica gas plays on the Appalachian Region.
Pennsylvania is currently second in the nation for natural gas production and fifth in the nation for overall energy production.
“Our energy industry is creating tremendous economic and environmental progress for Pennsylvania’s citizens,” Corbett said during his address to the conference delegation. “Home heating costs have been cut in half; electricity prices are down 40 percent; and according to the EPA, carbon emissions are down by 7 percent.”
“More than 200,000 people are working in jobs created or made more prosperous and more secure by the vast wealth being tapped from our energy industry, including the Marcellus Shale gas play,” Corbett said. “Just visit Williamsport, Green County, Washington County or any of a dozen others, and see the crowded restaurants, the full motels and the stores who are seeing heavier customer traffic and higher sales. Ask those people if they’d be doing this business without the drilling industry.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) uses the Quarterly Census for Employment and Wages (QCEW) to measure employment levels and to track the employment change of the energy industry in the state.
Employment data indicate that there are 28,155 jobs in the industries where core activities for Marcellus Shale occur, which is an increase of 162 percent since 2009. Work in these core industries is often the most high-profile and visible work related to Marcellus Shale. These industries include drilling and extraction work, building pipelines, and transporting natural gas through pipelines.
Employment data also indicate that there are more than 200,000 jobs in the industries where ancillary or supply-chain activities for Marcellus Shale occur. The companies in the core industries rely on the companies in these industries to provide the products and services they require. This group of industries was created based on the relationships that have historically existed within the natural gas sector of the economy.
This conservative job number does not take into account the many induced jobs, such as hospitality, service and other professions that have clearly seen a positive impact from Pennsylvania’s development of our natural gas industry.
As Marcellus Shale development continues to grow and evolve, it is likely that additional industries will be identified that play a larger role in the energy economy than they have in the past.
“New manufacturers are arriving and building plants. Companies with deep histories are expanding and branching out to the energy supply chain. Engineering firms are growing and environmental firms are hiring – and we are seeing this throughout Pennsylvania where there is drilling and miles away from it,” Corbett said.
The commonwealth’s support for safe, innovative energy development has led to a number of economic successes, most notable the continued operations of three refineries in the southeastern section of the state, saving more than 1,000 jobs.
The bright future of energy in Pennsylvania also helped to secure operations at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, increasing demand and putting 1,000 Pennsylvanians back to work.
In Chester County, Schramm, Inc. added 50 employees in 2012, mostly engineers, to design a new drilling rig for the natural gas industry. The additional jobs bring the company’s total employment up to 235.
In October, Corbett visited Environmental Tank Container, which currently supplies oilfield services companies, water hauling firms, frack tank rental companies and energy companies. The company is experiencing tremendous growth and will add 100 new jobs over the next five years in Cambria County.
In Columbia County, a business partnership between two Pennsylvania-based companies, WellSpring Environmental Services, LLC, headquartered in Orwigsburg, and Ultra-Poly Corporation, based in Portland, Northampton County, is expected to create 80 new jobs. The new recycling venture is projected to remove at least 20 million pounds a year of plastic well pad liner material and turn it into to useful products.
Developing Unconventionals East (DUG East) is a series of conferences focused on the energy industry’s business challenges and opportunities in identifying and developing unconventional resources. This year’s conference focuses on the unconventional plays across the Appalachian region, which are leading to unprecedented resource abundance for the U.S. consumer, and are increasing in global importance. President George W. Bush was the keynote speaker at the conference.