Today, WVONGA released a study from the WVU College of Business and Economics, Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) on the significant economic impact of Marcellus shale drilling.
But first, here’s a little background about West Virginia and natural gas. According to the report, from 1906 – 1917, West Virginia lead the nation in natural gas exploration and development. Total told and natural gas employment in West Virginia has been on the rise, yet it accounts for a very small percentage of our state’s total employment, barely 1.5% from 2001-2009.
Even better, it’s possible that Marcellus development created between 7,600 and 8,500 additional jobs here in West Virginia in 2010. By the year 2015, West Virginia could see 19,000 more jobs because of Marcellus development and related activities.
The most impressive thing to me about these numbers is that they’re conservative estimates! The economic benefits of royalty payments, exploration of the Marcellus, bonuses to landowners, pipeline and transportation of the natural gas extract from the Marcellus, and several other factors were not included in the above estimates. For a further look at the report, click here.
So now we’ve got jobs and incentives for a young, energetic workforce to come to West Virginia. Before I hear one more person shut either the Brains for Business bill or job creation through the Marcellus shale development down, what suggestions do you have? I’m happy to listen to complaints, but only if there is light at the end of your complaint tunnel.
West Virginia needs to take action now before its too late. Yes, our economy is more stable and our budget is in better shape than surrounding states, but that will not be the case if we do not continue taking progressive actions.