Wednesday, June 01, 2011

New York Successfully Keeping Jobs At Bay

New York's laughable mediocrity of an Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, is working hard to keep jobs out of New York state. He's suing the feds because, he feels, they aren't doing enough to squash the natural gas exploration technology known as hydraulic fracturing. Trust me the EPA is doing plenty behind the scenes to restrict "fracking" but they can't do what they want, which is ban it, because there is no evidence that it poses severe environmental risks. EPA head Lisa Jackson has admitted that there is no evidence of water contamination caused by fracking. But people see fraudulent movies like Gasland by lying activist Josh Fox and believe this stuff, so there is a political constituency for railing against fracking, and it has grown into the latest trend in environmental activism. Naturally, you can count on politicians like Schneiderman to cotton on in due course.

Meanwhile Pennsylvania, West Virginia (and North Carolina soon) are establishing early footholds in the fracking-reliant natural gas exploration industry while New York declares themselves out of the game. Pennsylvania is already garnering the jobs and tax revenue that naturally flows from openness to energy development.

Here is my prediction, several years from now, New York will cease this silliness and declare that it is open to fracking and two things will happen. One, some companies will say, "No thanks, we have all the work we can handle here in PA and WV." Two, other companies will say OK and send in their PA-based crews and buy supplies from PA-based vendors to work NY wells, delivering only marginal economic gains to NY. Northeastern politicians don't seem to get the energy business. Oil and gas people travel. They're used to it. The industry doesn't setup shop in your state unless you are really friendly, otherwise they just travel in and out. New York is letting PA own the footprint of the industry and will have to be satisfied with the scraps when/if they come around.

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