All Hail Shale
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Until a few years ago, only geologists would get excited about shale, but today this type of rock is the source of America’s energy boom benefiting states like Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Dakota. According to a new study, it’s generating millions of jobs right now with millions more to come. Bloomberg reports:
Drilling for oil and natural gas in shale rock is supporting 1.7 million U.S. jobs this year, including workers outside the energy industry such as waiters and shop clerks, according to researcher IHS Global Insight.
Job tied to unconventional oil and gas production will reach 3.5 million by 2035, according to the report backed by the industry and released today. Because U.S. unemployment is high, many finding jobs related to drilling otherwise would be unemployed, said John Larson, a vice president at IHS and the study’s lead author.
The study finds that we should expect a total of 3 million jobs created by shale oil and natural gas development by the end of the decade, and 3.5 million by 2035. Eighty percent of these jobs will be working directly on drilling rigs or supplying them with pipe, water, sand, and other materials. The ripple effect will support the other twenty percent of new jobs—new hotels and rail lines for example.
The IHS study finds that this energy development in addition to creating jobs, will fill the coffers of cash-strapped governments. It expects $62 billion in government revenues from taxes and royalties in 2012, rising to $110 billion annually by 2020. A total of $2.5 trillion in tax revenue, half going to state and local governments, will be generated by 2035.
Along with generating new jobs and government revenues, the shale boom is also pushing back on the unfortunate trend of increased energy security risk. The Energy Institute’s latest Index of Energy Security Risk found the United States at a record-high level in 2011, but the risk level would be even higher if it wasn’t for the boom in shale-produced oil and natural gas.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, praised the IHS study saying, “We’ve known for some time that shale energy is truly a game-changer for America—and now we can prove it.” She went on:
This new, comprehensive study demonstrates that shale energy is already contributing over $200 billion to our economy, with much more to come, if policymakers at all levels of government don’t stand in the way.
In the video above, Harbert explains the key findings from the IHS study.
And that’s the key. With good energy policies, we’ll get millions of new jobs, billions in new government revenues, and better energy security. Learn more at the Energy Institute's Shale Works for Us website.