This summer, two Penn State University professors, Timothy Considine and Robert Watson, both from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, passed off a paid advertisement of gas industry talking points as a research paper.While Considine and Watson have good academic credentials, those credentials are not within the discipline of community economics. Watson is a physical scientist and Considine has done most of his economic work on fuel markets.Watson admits that the Marcellus Shale Committee, a group of 50 industry companies, paid Penn State $100,000 for the paper. At least one version, circulated in Harrisburg, during the tax debate, didn’t include that fact.Considine and Watson wildly over reached. They claimed the economic impact here in 2008 was 28% of that achieved in the Barnett Shale in Texas and had already created 32.5% of the Barnett’s jobs. That from only 431 wells at the time, or 6% of the then current 7170 Barnett wells.“An Emerging Giant”, was met with heavy criticism and outright contempt by a number of organizations and scholars. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan, policy study concluded “The “An Emerging Giant” report serves the narrow financial interests of its funder, the natural gas industry.” At a Marcellus Shale seminar in August, the acting secretary of conservation and natural resources, John Quigley, introduced Watson by saying that Watson’s study was “unsubstantiated by facts”. Nevertheless, the well funded gas industry PR machine has trumpeted “Emerging Giant” nationally so it has become the dominant word.The gas industry is using this inflated and hyped study to stampede our political and business leader into overlooking the enormous damage unregulated drilling will do to our environment, way of life, and ultimately to our economy.
Filed under: drilling in pa | Tagged: barnett shale, marcellus shale, Marcellus Shale Committee, Marcellus shale drilling, natural gas, natural gas in PA, natural gas wells, PA state budget, penn state, Robert Watson, Timothy Considine |