Thursday, November 21, 2013

Debunking Marcellus jobs claims: The long version is out

A consortium of think tanks called the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative has put out a nearly 40-page report that basically corroborates everything I said in this post about Marcellus Shale jobs.

The report is titled, unsubtly: “Exaggerating the Employment Impacts of Shale Drilling: How and Why.” It exhaustively debunks, point by point, the claim that natural gas is creating jobs by the hundreds of thousands in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Shale has created “at best” a few tens of thousands of jobs, the report says. Claims of much higher numbers stem from: 
  • Conflating “new hires” with “new jobs.” A new hire for an existing job does not expand the total number of jobs. 
  • Identifying categories of jobs that relate to shale drilling, then improperly treating every single job in those categories as shale-related. 
  •  Creating projections based on economic models that incorporate highly implausible assumptions.

 The nearly 40-page report includes numerous charts and tables. This one is my favorite:

The report concludes: “[T]he jobs bounty of shale drilling is not so enormous that public officials should be intimidated from honest scrutiny of its impacts.”

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