A recent study by IHS Global Insight shows that extracting shale gas from the ground via hydraulic fracturing will support up to 3.5 million American jobs by 2035. Unsurprisingly, those states which have aggressively championed fracking (Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania) have witnessed the creation of hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in their states.
The study also concludes that fracking will yield over $2.5 trillion to state and federal government coffers by 2035. States that have moved to fully utilize their natural resources have seen enormous economic benefits. Pennsylvania has been a hub of the natural gas boom. As ATR pointed out in the Philadelphia Inquirer, this has “generated more than $7 billion in taxes, royalties, lease payments, and fees in the state over the past five years, along with tens of thousands of high-paying jobs”
Other states are making the wise move to fully realize the benefit of their in-state resources that can now be accessed thanks to technological advances. Just this year the North Carolina legislature passed a bill to permit hydraulic fracturing, which had previously been prohibited in the state. In last night’s final gubernatorial debate before the election, former Charlotte Mayor and likely next governor Pat McCrory advocated “really promoting energy exploration both off-shore and inland in North Carolina” as a way to raise revenue through economic expansion, as opposed to job-killing tax increases.
Gov. Mitt Romney’s plan will move federal policies in the right direction, fully utilizing abundant domestic sources of natural gas. In contrast, President Obama has stepped up efforts to impose onerous federal regulations on the energy industry, and impose mandates that consumers get their energy from more expensive and less viable sources.
To watch an animation of how hydraulic fracturing is used to safely produce natural gas, click here.