And while we're on the subject of jobs, the Indiana County CEO has catalogued the type of jobs that are being created by the development of the Marcellus. As the CEO states:
"Growth in this industry is having a ripple effect on many other business activities associated with drilling. Auxiliary areas include:
•Water access and hauling
•supply of drill rigs
•streamlined permitting processes
•pipeline infrastructure and construction
•brine water remediation
•testing and laboratory services
•additional lodging, food, retail establishments, and entertainment."
The CEO also notes that continuing development will present many challenges, including:
•planning for expected growth
•long-term preparation for economic decline if drilling activities peak and diminish
•addressing environmental concerns
•accommodating increased population, student enrollments, and needs for housing, public services and public safety
•increased demands on transportation infrastructure and water and sewer systems
•policy considerations for local officials and citizenry to pay for increased infrastructure needs
•changes to the landscape through installation of multi-acre drilling pads, access roads, above-ground wellheads, and transmission pipelines.
The pie chart reproduces the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association's analysis of the jobs created within and without the industry. Equipment operations (slate blue) is the largest chunk at 30 percent. Engineering and construction (medium blue) is second at 24 percent, followed by operations and maintenance (light blue) at 17 percent and administrative services (dark blue) at 11 percent. All the others - land, water management, environmental health and safety, geology, well services,purchasing, commercial and otters make small but significant contributions.
Most important, fracking produces a valuable natural resource that lowers energy prices to others and reduces everyone's cost of living. This alone makes it valuable to the economy.