Charleston Gazette – The boom in shale-gas drilling accounts for thousands of regional jobs but has not lived up to some of the most optimistic estimates offered by industry backers, according to a report released Thursday. Read
Natural gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations has created jobs, especially in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, cushioning parts of those states from the nationwide recession and the weak recovery that has followed, according to the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, a group of research organizations tracking the issue.
However, the economic impact has been less than some have predicted, and critics remain concerned that “recent trends are consistent with the boom-and-bust pattern that has characterized extractive industries for decades.”
“While shale development has been important to West Virginia’s ongoing economic recovery, it is less than one percent of the state’s employment mix,” said Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, a collaborative member. “This means policymakers need to make the important public investments in higher education and workforce development that will diversify our economic and make it stronger over the long term.”