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Fear of Fracking Stymies Gas' Potential

Article by Bernard L. Weinstein February 13, 2013 //   2 minute read

Bernard L. Weinstein, National Journal Twenty years ago, the Barnett shale in north Texas was unknown. Today it’s the second largest producing natural gas field in the United States with output exceeding four billion cubic feet a day. What’s more, the Barnett shale has added a new dimension to the North Texas economy, supporting thousands of jobs and generating millions in tax revenue for local governments and school districts. In terms of potential output and economic impact, the Barnett is dwarfed by the Marcellus shale formation that stretches across large swaths of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Pennsylvania is already benefiting mightily from shale gas production, and several studies have recently documented the huge economic boost to the state in term of jobs, income and tax revenue. Indeed, one can point to drilling and production in the Marcellus as the main reason Pennsylvania has been adding jobs at a rapid clip. By contrast, upstate New York, with a moratorium on shale gas drilling, has been losing jobs for years. Read More