Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gas Drilling: Economic Impacts on Communities

United Church of Christ, Norwich, NY
February 24, 2011

Part of The Fourth Thursday Speakers Series sponsored by
C-CARE: Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy

· How many jobs will really be created?
· Are areas where drilling has occurred better
off than areas where it has not?
· What are the true costs and benefits of drilling?


Nicole Dillingham is an attorney and the President of the Board of Otsego 2000, a not-for-profit foundation devoted to forwarding intelligent planning for the environment and preventing irreversible change and damage to the unique resources of the region. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, practiced commercial litigation for 23 years in California and now resides in Otsego County. Nicole Dillingham has served on the board of Otsego 2000 for the past six years and as President for the last three.


Jannette Barth is an economist and the President of J.M. Barth & Associates, Inc., an economic research and consulting firm. Dr. Barth has worked in the field of economic analysis for over 35 years. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and her former positions include Chief Economist of the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Consultant & Account Manager for Chase Econometrics/Interactive Data Corp. As a landowner in Delaware County, Dr. Barth is interested in the economic and environmental impacts of gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing techniques. She authored the report, "Unanswered Questions About the Economic Impact of Gas Drilling In the Marcellus Shale: Don’t Jump to Conclusions" in response to the existing studies of economic impacts of gas drilling in New York and the DEC’s draft SGEIS. Her work in this area is entirely self-funded.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DRBC Public Hearing on Draft Natural Gas Regulations


Honesdale, PA; February 22, 2011

This was the first of two public hearings scheduled by the Delaware River Basin Commission for the same day in Honesdale, PA. The subject was the DRBC's proposed regulations relating to gas drilling. The two sides, for drilling and against, could agree on only one thing: they are both overwhelmingly opposed to the proposed regs.

As for myself, I'm with the "Drill, baby, drill" crowd, because of the obvious economic benefits:

1. Governments will be able to levy huge fines against the gas drilling companies for ignoring environmental regulations. Either that, or politicians will get rich taking bribes to NOT levy fines. Either way, it's more outside money coming into our community.

2. Construction companies will go on a hiring spree to repair the road damage caused by thousands of tanker trucks making thousands of trips at all hours of the day and night.

3. Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies will reap a windfall treating chronic diseases caused by toxic chemicals released into the water, air and soil.

4. Realtors will have tens of thousands of new listings from residents eager to relocate out of the new industrial zone which was once their home sweet home. Of course, this may not actually result in any money changing hands, because who will want to move here? (Scratch that one.)

5. Lawyers will make millions filing lawsuits against everyone in sight.

6. Bottled water companies will see unprecedented demand from people seeking drinking water that can't be lit with a match.

7. Thousands of jobs will open up in law enforcement and social services agencies to deal with the increase in drug abuse and crime, along with related social problems.

8. Landlords will be able to double and triple rents as the working poor are priced out of the housing market to make room for gas drilling workers.

What are we waiting for? Drill, baby, drill!

PS: I had to edit out a few audience comments made while I was changing tapes in my video camera. Also, there was a PowerPoint presentation early on (which I edited out), and here is a link to the PDF.