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The Proof in the Pudding

Natural Gas is good for America.

A simple comparison of two states that share the Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania and New York) by the Wall Street Journal shows the stark contrast between the two in terms of capitalizing on the boom that Shale Gas can provide.

As you will note from that article, Timothy Considine, University of Wyoming professor, estimates that each individual well drilled in the Pennsylvania shale “generates some $2.8 million in direct economic benefits from natural gas company purchases; $1.2 million in indirect benefits from companies engaged along the supply chain; another $1.5 million from workers spending their wages, or landowners spending their royalty payments; plus $2 million in federal, state and local taxes. Oh, and 62 jobs.”

In the words of native Pennsylvanians, shale gas has positively impacted the state in amazing ways:  ways that generate billions of dollars and pay taxes on those billions of dollars, ways that generate new jobs for locals and increase the quality of life for folks living in that state. These are real testimonials from real folks in the workplace and in government that speak for the improvements that Shale Gas has already provided.

Meanwhile, in the state of New York, “Job No. 1 is Jobs”.  According to a study by the Manhattan Institute,

…a quick end to the moratorium would generate more than $11.4 billion in economic output from 2011 to 2020, 15,000 to 18,000 new jobs, and $1.4 billion in new state and local tax revenue. These are conservative estimates based on a limited area of drilling. If drilling were allowed in the New York City watershed—which Governor Andrew Cuomo is so far rejecting—as well as in the state’s Utica shale formation, the economic gains would be five times larger.

Consider New York’s Broome County, which borders Pennsylvania and from which you can spot nearby rigs. The county seat of Binghamton ought to be a hub for shale commerce, but instead its population is falling as its young people leave for jobs elsewhere.

A study commissioned by the county in 2009 found that Broome could support up to 4,000 wells, but drilling even half that number would create some $400 million in wages, salaries and benefits; $605 million in property income from rents, royalties and dividends, and some $43 million in state and local tax revenue.

While Pennsylvania thrives, New York watches them.

Instead of claiming the approximately 20% of the production available in the Marcellus, environmental groups uninterested in anything resembling a compromise are in favor of protecting their land due to extremist environmental concerns (which, by the way, were proven by the mountain of evidence substantiated by environmental agencies like New York’s own DEC…wait,…they didn’t say that Frac’ing for Natural Gas was harmful? Wait, what did they say? They said that as long as Frac’ing precautions are in place, Frac’ing can be done safely and won’t contaminate drinking water…oh, ah, who cares, the last thing New York needs is people living and working in it. They pollute the environment.) that they have yet to put any real weight behind in terms of scientific data.

New York could not only benefit from Shale Gas, it needs to but ads like the second one run on the page continue to run, not on CNG but emotion. Emotions don’t make money, CNG does.

I want New York to help themselves with what is within their means and stop letting people like Mark Ruffalo and Josh Fox halt the progress of their own economy.

And because New York has chosen, up until this point, to value the voices of the detractors more than the voices of those for economic stimulation, and acted preemptively and detrimentally without hard scientific evidence to reasonably justify their actions…and it has already cost them billions of dollars.

I don’t want film-makers or movie stars or irresponsible journalists costing my state billions of dollars because of the influence they can leverage.

I propose an idea. Instead of warring ideologies, let’s quantify the successes of Natural Gas and the criticisms against its method of production in concrete terms to evaluate which argument needs to be eliminated.

The headache is that while all of the barkers moan about the dangers of Frac’ing because they are opposed to it, the companies who are making money for this country and for its people have to deal with them.

I hope it won’t be a headache for long. The longer they make arguments that they can’t back up, the longer they call the independent gas companies into question without tangible reasons, the more foolish they are going to look and the more credibility they are going to lose.

During that time, New York will have lost more money because they listened to them in the first place. Pennsylvania isn’t worried about any of this because they are too busy making money.

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