The Rock Solid Facts about Shale Drilling
There are a lot of myths flying around about shale drilling, or hydraulic fracturing, but these are the rock solid facts:
Myth #1— Natural gas jobs don’t go to Pennsylvanians.
Rock solid fact: Pennsylvania boasts more than 240,000 jobs that support shale development — nearly 70 percent of which go to Pennsylvanians — and most of those jobs pay well above the state average.
Myth #2— Natural gas companies don’t pay taxes.
Rock solid fact: Natural gas companies are heavily taxed— $2.7 billion dollars, and counting. This includes all the same taxes other Pennsylvania businesses pay, PLUS a special impact tax that has totaled $630 million in the first three years. In fact, Pennsylvania shale drilling generates $60 million dollars more in impact taxes than West Virginia’s gas severance tax.
Myth #3— Natural gas is under-regulated.
Rock solid fact: In Pennsylvania, natural gas is regulated at the federal, state and local levels, with nearly 70 regulations at the state level alone, including site construction: 12 Pennsylvania regulations; drilling phase: 18 Pennsylvania regulations; reclaimed/completed sites: 10 Pennsylvania regulations; hydraulic fracturing: 18 Pennsylvania regulations; and midstream: 11 Pennsylvania regulations.
State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER), a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization, found the Commonwealth’s oil and gas regulations to be well-managed, proficient and ready to address the increase in oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania.
Myth #4— Shale drilling harms the environment.
Rock solid fact: Shale drilling is a proven technology that has been safely used for 60 years. Every stage of production is heavily regulated to protect Pennsylvania’s water, natural species and residents.
For example, well casings are constructed using multiple layers of steel and cement to protect our water supply. And, through cooperative efforts with conservation groups, post-drilling and pipeline restoration projects develop a much-needed early succession habitat that provides diversity in food supply for birds and small-game species. And, according to Pennsylvania, increased natural gas usage has reduced carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in two decades and is actually slowing global warming.
Myth #5— Shale drilling is bad for the economy.
Rock solid fact: Before shale drilling, Pennsylvania’s outlook was unsteady. But Marcellus gas production, which now supplies 20 percent of the nation’s natural gas, pumps up the economy in all kinds of ways. Natural gas utility rates have dropped 50 percent since 2008. 50,000 Pennsylvanians collect natural gas royalties every month. And 1,347 small businesses across Pennsylvania are part of the supply chain.
Now that you have the facts, you can see just how rock solid shale is for all Pennsylvanians.