Pennsylvania needs to invest more resources into developing the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” industry, in the Marcellus Shale.
Most people know that fracking has played a big role in stabilizing Pennsylvania’s economy during the recent recession. What most people don’t know is that states like Pennsylvania still possess tremendous potential to continue to grow the fracking industry even further. This will create thousands of good, locally-grown jobs.
According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, energy-intensive manufacturing sectors added more than 196,000 jobs in metro areas from 2010 to 2012. Furthermore, energy-intensive manufacturing employment will increase by more than 1 percent a year through 2020. This energy revolution is having an amazing impact on our national economy, and states like Pennsylvania have the potential to lead the way on energy-intensive manufacturing employment in the 21st century. Fracking has led to an increase in employment opportunities for people across the state of Pennsylvania.
These new economic opportunities mean greater tax revenues for state and local governments to spend on school construction and public safety.
Pennsylvania workers need to be able to work in good jobs that will allow them to support their families. In today’s global economy, companies keep shedding jobs rather than creating new ones.
By investing more in fracking, we will create thousands of good jobs right here in Pennsylvania. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced to other countries, and they are jobs that will give workers in Pennsylvania the opportunity to build middle-class lives for themselves and their families.
These jobs are good for Pennsylvania communities because they are helping to revitalize once-forgotten stretches of rural Pennsylvania. Local hotels have expanded, restaurants are packed and housing rentals have more than doubled. All of this creates a snowball effect that expands Pennsylvania’s local economies.
As a labor leader in Pennsylvania, I know firsthand just how important good jobs are to working families across our state. Working families are tired of the endless political debates that occur over developing fracking.
Working families do not have time to listen to talking heads ramble on and on about fracking. These families need good jobs now.
Dennis L. Martire
Dennis L. Martire is vice president and regional manager of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA).