Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shale Projection Dialed Back

Generally, it is hard to argue against the benefits of Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania without entering into fantasy to make your point. That is why anti-drillers jumped on a new Penn State report as their latest bit of evidence against drilling in PA.

In 2010, Penn State released a study that indicated that, in 2009, the drillers created 44,000 jobs and boosted the economy by around $7.1 billion. A new study by Penn State released in August dials back earlier projections to 23,000 jobs and $3.1 billion.

News sources like the Scranton Times-Tribune were quick to point to the new study as part of their anti-drilling meme. They actually chide the state for using “false” information to develop policy while themselves allowing patently false information that is inflammatory to permeate their paper.

Take, for instance, this letter to the editor. It is relatively even tempered in comparison to some of the letters the editors allowed through. In this letter though, the writer makes the statement that Marcellus Shale drilling is destroying Pennsylvania’s forests. That is a very serious charge. Penn’s Woods are a great resource which Pennsylvanians are very serious about protecting. Did the writer substantiate that claim in some way? They don’t appear to.

The newspaper was right to say that policy decisions need to be made on facts, whatever the facts may be. But the paper should take its own advice and not fall victim to misinformation being advanced on their editorial page.

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