Planet Gore

Fracking a Boon to PA and OH

In this morning’s Journal, two fracking success stories. From Pennsylvania, news that the boom is bringing jobs to the Keystone state:

At a time when creating jobs is one of the nation’s top priorities, most tallies agree that the recent boom in gas drilling has put more people to work in Pennsylvania. But just how many new jobs the surge has generated in the state is open to debate.

The exact number is unknown and ranges widely, with the “Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry [saying] industries related to natural-gas extraction directly and indirectly created just over 13,000 jobs in the state in 2010,” while

researchers at Pennsylvania State University, funded by an industry group, tallied 67,000 new jobs in 2010 based on spending by gas companies, including purchases of goods and services, royalties to landowners and taxes. That figure includes 23,000 jobs in construction, 13,600 in mining and 1,900 in hotel and food services from direct company spending.

Counting indirect expenditures by contractors and so-called “induced” economic impacts from gas-industry workers spending their wages, the report cites a “total employment impact” of 140,000 jobs last year.

Meanwhile, up in Ohio

on the edge of the Mahoning River, where once stood dozens of blast furnaces, more than 400 workers are constructing what long has been considered unthinkable: a new $650 million steel plant.

When complete, it will stand 10 stories tall, occupy one million square feet and make a half million tons of seamless steel tubes used in “fracking” or drilling for natural gas in shale basins.

“The outgoing mayor admits, ‘I never envisioned a new steel mill in Youngstown.’” Nor did the manifold environmental groups peddling the sort of hysteria that would kill these jobs. And if they have their way, there will be no more mills to accompany the shiny new one on the banks of the Mahoning.

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