Shale Boosts Economy, Lowers Energy Costs
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There’s an economic boom occurring in pockets of the United States, and these areas happen to be where shale oil and gas development is moving full steam ahead. And the benefits are quickly spreading in the form of lower energy costs, job creation, and economic growth.
Owing to technological breakthroughs, energy producers are now safely and responsibly unlocking immense natural gas and oil supplies in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, with more states on the horizon.
Shale energy exploration is under way in Ohio, and the state has adopted regulatory controls to address potential environmental and public health and safety concerns. An Ohio Shale Coalition report estimates that the development of the Utica shale formation could create more than 65,000 jobs in Ohio by 2015.
In Pennsylvania, natural gas development generated $11.2 billion in GDP in 2010, contributed $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues, and supported nearly 140,000 jobs throughout the commonwealth.
In Utah and Wyoming, 22 proposed oil and gas projects could annually support 120,000 jobs, generate $27.5 billion in economic activity, and produce $139 million in government revenue.
The benefits of shale energy production are not limited to the petroleum industry. The petrochemical industry depends on natural gas not only as an energy source but also as a feedstock to produce plastic, glass, and pharmaceuticals. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study suggests that the renaissance in U.S. manufacturing is due largely to lower feedstock and energy costs created by domestic shale energy production, leading to a projected 1 million new jobs by 2025. Other industries including steel, lodging, and construction are also feeling the positive effects. Moreover, increased government revenue and economic growth attributed to shale energy development are helping communities invest in schools, first responders, and infrastructure.
Despite this economic success story, the federal government is making shale energy production on federal lands more difficult, if not impossible. To help educate the business community and the American public, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy today launched SHALE works for US, a nationwide campaign to highlight the impact that shale energy production is having on economic growth, job creation, and America’s energy security.
“Shale energy has the potential to be an economic game changer for America,” says Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute. “The solution to a sluggish economy, anemic job growth, and unaffordable and unreliable energy lies right beneath our feet.”
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