Marcellus Drillers Invest Billions in Pennsylvania

During Monday’s Pennsylvania Press Club meeting, Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles Zogby remarked on the economic benefits the Marcellus Shale industry is bringing to Pennsylvania.

Secretary Zogby commented that the Marcellus industry in Rep. Matt Baker’s district has already put $80 million into road repair—10 times what the PA Department of Transportation does in a single year.

The benefits for communities don’t stop there. In 2009 alone, the industry provided residents with $1.7 billion in signing bonuses and another $54 million in royalty payments, and is estimated to have paid out over $5 billion in lease and royalty payments since 2002. These royalty payments allow farmers like Rich Bednarsk of Avella to enjoy farming without worry about finances.

Department of Revenue data analyzed by Penn State reveals other positive economic benefits to the state. The study found:

  • Pennsylvania counties with 150 or more Marcellus wells experienced an 11.36 percent increase in state sales tax collections between 2007 and 2010.
  • Counties with no Marcellus wells drilled experienced a 6.55 percent decrease in sales taxes during that same period.

Natural gas drilling is one of few industries that is expanding in Pennsylvania. Its development has provided the commonwealth a real economic stimulus, benefiting the state and communities alike.