Cracking cracking is over. Where did all the jobs go?


Boom and bist

The “shale” gas boom was just as fleeting as Cruz’s presidential outlook. Yet, four years later, running for re-election, Donald Trump tried the same Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Pennsylvania with the same scenario.

One ad in the campaign which aired in the state, said Biden’s “ban on fracking” would “kill up to 600,000 jobs in Pennsylvania”. (Biden cannot ban fracking except on federal public lands.) At a rally in Latrobe, Trump claimed that fracking created 940,000 jobs in the state. The actual number there were more than 26,000 at the time – and that included fracking-related jobs that were not directly in the industry.

A report The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative found that during the time span of the apparent crackdown in Pennsylvania and the Midwest (2008-2012), “firms with an economic interest in expanding drilling” and their political allies systematically exaggerated the impact of industry on employment. .

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce declared in 2012 that shale gas production in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia created more than 300,000 new jobs. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry numbered only about 18,000. The discrepancy probably stemmed from the Council’s blatant misrepresentation several controversial industry-funded Penn State studies who looked atplanned jobs, ”Which means expected future jobs. Later, the Chamber revised 300,000 “created” jobs to 180,000 “supported”.

Similarly, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett National Energy Plan for 2014 he claimed that “over 240,000 Pennsylvanians work in basic and ancillary jobs related to the oil and gas industry.” However, the Keystone Research Center pointed this out ancillary jobs (like those UPS drivers), which made up the bulk of the total, preceded fracking.

The Halliburton facility in Muncy, PA, east of Williamsport, shown here in 2013.


The bottom line is that although gas pressure in Pennsylvania peaked between 2011 and 2012, its unemployment rate at the time actually rose by almost a full percentage point – and at 8.3% was half a point above the national average – even and when unemployment fell 46 states. (In Billtown, whose former mayor dubbed it the “Energy Capital of Pennsylvania,” the median 2012 household income of $ 33,147 was no higher than it was a breakthrough; the high local poverty rate remained unchanged.)

Bomb report recently published by the Ohio River Valley Institute, details how promises of incentives for business and prosperity for the wider Appalachia region were miracles. In the 22 counties of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia that produce most of U.S. natural gas, economic production grew by 60% from 2008 to 2019, but a small portion of the revenue generated by that growth remained in local communities. The region recorded growth of only 1.6% of jobs, compared to 9.9% at the national level; its share in the national population fell by 11%.

These numbers show that gas drilling has not raised the financial prospects of shale communities. In fact, it may have made matters worse.

Growth maintenance

It is important to explode the myth that fracking is a golden goose because it takes away one of the main excuses of the polluting industry. “economy versus environment “ implies that environmentally friendly policies are killing jobs. Proponents of renewable energy, which are partly driven by a desire to rewrite this story, are also common overestimate the economic impact their own recommendations by advertising high-paying “green jobs” that they claim will come with wind or solar energy.

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