Is NY Fracking a Good Idea? Look at Pennsylvania

on October 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Owners of New York City's Empire State Building File For IPO

By Javier E David

First was Texas. Next came Pennsylvania and North Dakota. Could New York become the next U.S. shale hotspot?

It’s a tantalizing prospect for some, given that the Empire State sits atop not one but two prolific shale formations, the Marcellus and the Utica. According to the most recent data from the United States Geological Survey, both have more than a combined 100 trillion cubic feet of estimated natural gas reserves.

Should New York overcome its deep reluctance to drill for natural gas, some experts say the state has the potential to ride a wave of domestic production—one credited with creating thousands of natural gas-related jobs nationwide. But so far at least, New York has given an ear to environmental interests that point to dangers around accessing the reserves, especially the hydraulic process known as “fracking.”

Pennsylvania Jobs

In terms of jobs, a potential model is Pennsylvania, another Northeastern state where fracking has led to a 40 percent surge in oil and gas jobs over the last six years, according to Labor Department statistics. New York has the means, but not the desire: A recent poll showed a clear majority of residents opposed to drilling in the state.

Even so, it has led to visible job creation in Pennsylvania. With shale exploration, “landowners get money, and people need to get hired,” said David Kay, economist at the Community and Regional Development Institute at Cornell University.

That can lead to a burst of economic activity that could help rejuvenate a moribund economy in upstate and central New York, analysts said.

Figures from a Penn State University impact study suggest that in 2009, the first year of the Marcellus boom, the Keystone State generated nearly 24,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in economic activity.

You can read the rest of this story at CNBC’s website

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