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For Release — July 14, 2011

Public Policy Institute: Natural gas drilling is essential to New York's economic recovery

ALBANY — There are very few opportunities available to New York State with the same job-creating potential as exploring and developing the Marcellus Shale formation, according to a new report released today by the Public Policy Institute, Inc. (PPI), the research arm of The Business Council of New York State Inc.

Drilling for Jobs: What the Marcellus Shale could mean for New York finds that creating as few as 300 natural gas wells per year in the Marcellus Shale has the potential to generate more than 37,500 jobs annually in New York. PPI examines the immense job-creating potential of the natural gas resource, comparing the private sector growth of select counties in the Southern Tier with a section of northern Pennsylvania.

“This report details the long lasting economic impact that Marcellus Shale development can bring to New York's Southern Tier,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “As the Department of Environmental Conservation focuses on the environmental aspects of Marcellus Shale exploration, it is important that New York also consider the economic impacts. The report stresses that a balanced approach to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale will lead to thousands of new jobs, real property tax benefits and increased tax revenue.”

In addition to investigating projected private sector employment in the Empire State, the report contrasts job growth data for five counties in New York (Allegany, Steuben, Chemung, Tioga and Broome) with a similar region in Pennsylvania (McKean, Potter, Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga). PPI finds that the area of New York experienced job loss of 0.3 percent, while the counties just south of the state line saw private sector job growth of 4.7 percent. From 2009 to 2010, Oil and Gas Extraction and Support Activities for Mining, just two of the Marcellus-related industries, gained 4,355 jobs in Pennsylvania. In New York, these sectors combined saw only 42 new jobs.

Natural gas exploration also provides high paying jobs. The average wage in Oil and Gas Extraction and Support Activities for Mining is $79,184 in New York State, over double the private sector wage in upstate New York of $39,157.

The report also explores the potential real property tax benefits of natural gas wells. PPI estimates that one Marcellus well in Owego, New York would generate $190,300 in combined real property tax revenue for the county, town and school districts. Revenue such as this would offer a tremendous boost to local economies in the Southern Tier.

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The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. is a research and educational organization whose purpose is to formulate and promote public policies that will restore New York's economic competitiveness. The Institute accomplishes this mission by conducting timely, in-depth research addressing key state policy issues. Founded in 1981 and affiliated with The Business Council of New York State, Inc., The Institute is a non-partisan, tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3).