Where is hydraulic fracturing occurring and how has that impacted local communities?
Shale gas "plays" exist throughout the Mountain West, the South and the Northeast's Appalachian Basin. These plays are geographic areas where companies are actively looking for natural gas in shale rock.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports more than 750 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas and 24 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil resources in discovered shale plays. Responsibly developing these resources creates jobs and fuels our economy. And the key to unlocking these resources is through the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
Hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus and Barnett Shales have boosted local economies—generating royalty payments to property owners, providing tax revenues to the government and creating much-needed, high-paying American jobs. Engineering and surveying, construction, hospitality, equipment manufacturing and environmental permitting are just some of the professions experiencing the positive ripple effects of increased oil and natural gas shale development.
Development of natural gas from shale resources is responsible for:
- Supporting 600,000 jobs in 2010, which could increase to more than 1.6 million jobs by 2035;
- Contributing more than $76 billion to U.S. GDP in 2010, which could triple to $231 billion in 2035; and
- Contributing $18.6 billion in federal, state and local government tax and federal royalty revenues, which could more than triple to $57 billion by 2035—generating more than $933 billion in federal, state, and local tax and royalty revenues over the next 25 years on a cumulative basis.
You don’t have to look far these days to find stories about the positive economic impacts of shale development through hydraulic fracturing. Two Pennsylvania counties in the Marcellus Shale have zero unemployment and, in Ohio, shale development is bringing new hope to the Rust Belt.
Even still, fracking has emerged as a contentious issue in many communities, and it is important to note that there are two sides in the debate: those who want our oil and natural resources developed in a safe and responsible way; and those who don’t want our oil and natural gas resources developed at all. Development does bring with it some challenges, but the oil and natural gas industry has and will continue to work with concerned citizens, regulators and policymakers to make sure that it is done responsibly.
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