According to a Reuters article by Dave Warner, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas drillers advocacy group, commissioned a Penn State study which was released today. It concluded that Marcellus wells are more productive than anticipated, and that jobs in Pennsylvania are falling from the sky. Immediately, the PA Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank, disputed their findings, stating that the Coalition’s estimated $1 billion in 2010 tax revenue was overstated by at least $781 million, and that there were more like 19,000 core jobs created by the industry, rather than the 138,889 they are presently claiming. Still good employment numbers no matter who you believe, but clearly their estimates are very far apart. Apples and oranges.
I’m more cynical of the timing of the Marcellus Shale Coalition‘s report, exactly one day before Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission is set to release its much-anticipated report on the shale. A representative from the Marcellus Shale Coalition serves on the Marcellus Advisory Commission (bear with me here) as do a few representatives from moderate state environmental groups. So it’s not surprising that both the Commission and the Coalition are studying the same issues. I suppose it only seems like they’re working in tandem, crunching the same numbers. Do you think, like I do, they’re constantly mixing up the names, too?