March 7, 2014
November 29, 2013
NYPIRG and VeRSE present Dr. Jannette Barth speaking on the economics of *fracking* and renewables and fossil fuels.
The presentation will be on November 21st at the Binghamton University campus, 6 pm in Science Building 1, room 149 (S1 149).
Recently, various reports have confirmed the analyses of various independent economists, including Jannette Barth, Ph.D., which have suggested that the economic gains from fracking are industry-contrived and short-lived. Letter to Governor Cuomo from Three Concerned Economists, Dr. Barth, a Catskill homeowner and former chief economist for the M.T.A. has criticized the overly-optimistic forecasts, contending that the models are flawed and the data incomplete, at best. Critique of PPI Study on Shale Gas Job Creation, Unanswered Questions About The Economic Impact of Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale: Don’t Jump to Conclusions, Moreover, Dr. Barth, in one of the very few peer-reviewed articles on shale gas economics, concludes that job gains are minor, money flows out of extraction states and that any booms tend to be followed by pronounced and extended busts, as pre-existing industries are irreparably destroyed by fracking THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF SHALE GAS DEVELOPMENT ON STATE AND LOCAL ECONOMIES: BENEFITS, COSTS, AND UNCERTAINTIES,
Over the last week, a clutch of reports has laid bare the exaggerated job claims in Pennsylvania and Arkansas and the inevitable bust which has followed shale gas extraction in the Marcellus and Fayetteville shales. Both reports confirm Dr. Barth’s conclusions and should be recognized by policymakers who contemplate whether to allow fracking in New York state. In Arkansas, local business owners have recognized that workers must follow the rigs from state-to-state—now to North Dakota and Montana–and that the motel business, which surged briefly, has crashed. Economy slows with Fayetteville Shale drilling lag
Meanwhile, next door in Pennsylvania, the Pro-Fracking Corbett administration’s much ballyhooed job claims have been shown to be merely “[r]obust and aggressive statements about job creation which overstate dramatically the effects of one specific area of economic activity.” Pennsylvania Marcellus shale job creation claims being overstated? In fact, “According to a grimmer-than-expected report from the Keystone Research Group, the workforce outlook for Pennsylvanians is the bleakest it has been since 2010.” Report: Pa. outlook on jobs worst in three years
April 13, 2013
Now cheap energy (fossil) will fuel manufacturing; too bad these plants produce few or no jobs and destroy the environment and produce climate instability!
From the transcript!
U.S. GAO – Unconventional Oil and Gas Production: Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale Development
November 13, 2012
What GAO Found
In its October 2010 report, GAO noted that oil shale development presents the following opportunities for the United States:
- Increasing domestic oil production. Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way toward satisfying the nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.
- Socioeconomic benefits. Development of oil shale resources could lead to the creation of jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty payments to federal and state governments for oil produced on their lands. The extent of these benefits, however, is unknown at this time because the ultimate size of the industry is uncertain.
In addition to these opportunities and the uncertainty of not yet having an economical and environmentally viable commercial scale technology, the following challenges should also be considered:
- Impacts on water, air, and wildlife. Developing oil shale and providing power for oil shale operations and other activities will require large amounts of water and could have significant impacts on the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources. In addition, construction and mining activities during development can temporarily degrade air quality in local areas. There can also be long-term regional increases in air pollutants from oil shale processing and the generation of additional electricity to power oil shale development operations. Oil shale operations will also require the clearing of large surface areas of topsoil and vegetation which can affect wildlife habitat, and the withdrawal of large quantities of surface water which could also negatively impact aquatic life.
- Socioeconomic impacts. Oil shale development can bring an influx of workers, who along with their families can put additional stress on local infrastructure such as roads, housing, municipal water systems, and schools. Development from expansion of extractive industries, such as oil shale or oil and gas, has typically followed a “boom and bust” cycle, making planning for growth difficult for local governments. Moreover, traditional rural uses would be displaced by industrial uses and areas that rely on tourism and natural resources would be negatively impacted.
GAO’s 2010 report found that federal research efforts on the impacts of oil shale development did not provide sufficient data for future monitoring and that there was a greater need for collaboration among key federal stakeholders to address water resources and research issues. Specifically, Interior and DOE officials generally have not shared information on their oil shale research efforts, and there was a need for the federal agencies to improve their collaboration and develop more comprehensive baseline information related to water resources in the region. GAO made three recommendations to Interior, which the department generally concurred with and has already begun to take actions to address.
Why GAO Did This Study
Fossil fuels are important to both the global and U.S. economies, and “unconventional” oil and gas resources—resources that cannot be produced, transported, or refined using traditional techniques—are expected to play a larger role in helping the United States meet future energy needs. With rising energy prices one such resource that has received renewed domestic attention in recent years is oil shale. Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains solid organic material that can be converted into an oil-like product when heated. About 72 percent of this oil shale is located within the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and lies beneath federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, making the federal government a key player in its potential development. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE), advances energy technology, including for oil shale, through its various offices, national laboratories, and arrangements with universities.
GAO’s testimony is based on its October 2010 report on the impacts of oil shale development (GAO-11-35). This testimony summarizes the opportunities and challenges of oil shale development identified in that report and the status of prior GAO recommendations that Interior take actions to better prepare for the possible future impacts of oil shale development.
For more information, contact Anu K. Mittal at (202) 512-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.