Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekend Penn. Marcellus News Update: 7/20-22

Shale still yields jobs, panel says

Despite the drop in natural gas prices that has slowed drilling in Pennsylvania, plenty of jobs remain available related to the gas production in the state’s vast Marcellus shale reserves, panels of government and business representatives said Thursday.
“There are so many jobs beyond the drilling. There are mechanics jobs and sales jobs and a lot of infrastructure jobs for those in farming. They (gas producers) need the support services. I think we (agriculture) are a forgotten industry,” said Rick Ebert, a Derry Township dairy farmer who is vice president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, a statewide trade organization.
Full page ads in your local newspaper are not enough.
Prime time television commercials are not enough.
More than $23 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses are not enough.
What Pennsylvania really needs — according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — is a public relations campaign to explain the opportunities of the Marcellus Shale to the good folks of the Keystone State.
There’s “a lack of understanding among people,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “No one has any concept, even in Pennsylvania,” of the opportunities associated with gas.
It’s necessary — according to Julia Hearthway, Gov. Corbett’s Secretary of Labor & Industry — “to get out the facts.”
So, on Thursday morning, in the Capitol rotunda, the U.S. Chamber launched its “Shale Works For US” campaign, erroneously overstating the employment benefits of natural gas in Pennsylvania by more than 132,000 jobs per year.
The first ever Marcellus Summer Camp was held at Mansfield University July 8-10.
Twenty one students in grades 10-12 from Tioga, Bradford, Clarion and Indiana Counties in Pennsylvania were joined by students from New York State for an introduction to the natural gas industry and possible career paths.
Throughout the event, campers were introduced to many of the 150 occupations within the industry and the educational opportunities available in our area. They gained real world knowledge of a well site and had the opportunity to interact with faculty members from various educational institutions as well as industry professionals.
The camp included water quality and mudlogging learning sessions taught by Jen Demchak and Chris Kopf, both assistant professors in MU’s Geography & Geology Department, as well as field trips to a Chesapeake Energy well site, the Pennsylvania College of Technology campuses, and the Marcellus Shale Education & Training Center’s Energy Technology Education Center. Campers also received safety orientation training through SeaTrax, Inc.
Last week, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) released a supply chain Recommended Practice focused on further bolstering small- and medium-sized businesses across the region, which play an increasingly critical role in the safe development of clean-burning, job-creating American natural gas. With the national jobless claims once again on the rise, as CNBC reports today, these efforts could not be more timely for small businesses looking to grow and hire more local workers.
State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Clearfield County, today unveiled House Bill 2556, which would require pre-drilling water quality surveys upon request by landowners residing within 5,500 feet of a proposed Marcellus shale gas well.
“This legislation is needed to protect our water supplies and would be a win-win for everyone,” said George, Democratic chair of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee.
“House Bill 2556 allows for landowners whose water has been polluted by gas drilling to be compensated, and it protects gas companies from frivolous lawsuits for conditions for which a gas company is not at fault.”

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