Williamsport, Pennsylvania – Marc Scaringi, candidate for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, today held an Oil and Gas Forum at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport to discuss the future of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania.
Scaringi said, “Pennsylvania has a history of energy innovation. Since the first oil well was drilled in Titusville in 1859, more than 350,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania. We are once again on the cutting edge of the energy frontier with the promise of job creation and increased revenue through gas production from Marcellus Shale.” A study by Penn State University on the effect of Marcellus Shale gas production on the Pennsylvania economy concluded that during 2009, producers spent a total of $4.5 billion to develop Marcellus Shale. This investment resulted in an estimated $3.9 billion added to the Pennsylvania economy, $389 million in state and local tax revenue and more than 44,000 jobs in 2009. In 2008 alone, natural gas companies paid over $1.8 billion in lease and bonus payments to Pennsylvania landowners.
In spite of the incredible economic benefits brought about by the Marcellus Shale, Senator Bob Casey is doing everything he can to restrict development. Casey authored a bill called the FRAC Act to nationalize regulation of the Marcellus Shale, and put it under the EPA. This is a redundant level of regulation. Scaringi said, “My fear is that Casey wants to put Marcellus Shale under the EPA, rather than leaving it to be regulation by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), because he knows Barack Obama’s EPA, will seek to shut it down.” “Fracking” has been used to extract oil, gas and water and other materials from the earth in more than one million wells for 60 years now. It has been regulated by the “DEP” for many years, and every step of the process must be performed in accordance with state requirements.
Scaringi stated, “Senator Casey, unlike Senator Toomey who supports our state’s burgeoning natural gas industry, is out of touch with the needs of Pennsylvania. Natural gas development must continue to bring much needed vitality to the Pennsylvania economy.”