How States Have Benefitted from Fracking

How States Have Benefitted from Fracking
How States Have Benefitted from Fracking
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Preparing for a new offensive against fracking, this time with Hollywood in the lead, the oil and gas industry has put out a new round of statistics touting the employment benefits of the natural gas boom. This week IHS Consulting published figures claiming that unconventional oil and gas drilling have been responsible for creating 1.7 million jobs in the country and generating $63 billion in government revenue. Projections for 2020 are for 3 billion jobs and $113 billion in revenue. Most of the jobs are obviously concentrated in the state's with large shale deposits. But IHS and the oil and gas industry are careful to note that ample secondary employment is being created in non-drilling states as well.

The pie chart on the left shows the share of total jobs in each of the producing states. Texas leads with 45 percent, both because of the size of the Barnett and Haynesville Shales and because fracking began there first. Pennsylvania, the current epicenter of the Marcellus, is second with 8 percent. California, which is not thought of as a beneficiary of the recent technology, is also at 8 percent, just working from already developed fields. The state also contains the vast Monterey Shale, an oil and gas field that may eventually surpass everything else in North America.

After Texas and Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Colorado have 6 percent each. The other 27 percent is shared by 11 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi,Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Utah West Virginia, and Wyoming. Surprisingly, North Dakota, which has been the epicenter of unconventional oil production in the Bakken Shale, does not yet account for a large share of employment.

Among states that are benefitting without having large gas reserves, New York leads with 9 percent of the jobs, followed by Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Florida, all with 8 percent. Ironically, New York has resisted developing its own portion of the Marcellus but is benefitting from drilling in other states. The other 59 percent of the jobs are shared by 27 states.

Thus, the final tally is that unconventional drilling is producing employment in all the Lower 48 states, with only Alaska and Hawaii not benefitting. And Alaska has its own oil and gas resources.

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