Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Corbett’s Commonwealth Secretary Praises Gas Drilling

Another member of Governor Corbett’s cabinet is singing Marcellus Shale drilling’s praises. Appearing in State College today, Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele credited natural gas extraction with creating thousands of jobs throughout Pennsylvania. “This kind of job creation throughout our economy is why Governor Corbett is doing all he can to support Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania,” she said, according to a Department of State press release.

The number of jobs linked to drilling is debatable. Earlier week, a Penn State study claimed the industry created 23,500 jobs in 2009 – about half of what an earlier PSU study had concluded, for the same time span.

Aichele’s pro-drilling comments mirror a message Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley has been delivering all summer: drilling creates jobs, and is good for Pennsylvania’s economy. “Natural gas is already providing thousands of jobs for Pennsylvania. You can see it right here at Cleveland Brothers. They may not be drilling here, but jobs are being created here in Wilkes-Barre and across the state,” said Cawley, who chaired Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, during a visit to a Luzerne County equipment manufacturer last week. “To those who say Marcellus Shale is not benefiting Pennsylvania, I say come to Wilkes-Barre and see for yourself. Pennsylvanians are finding good jobs, and not just on the drilling rigs.”

Cawley has gone one step further during his campaign, blasting the idea of imposing a severance tax  on gas extraction.

Drilling is the second political issue Achele has waded into this month. Last week, she argued in favor of a bill requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls.

Here’s the full DOS release:

Secretary of Commonwealth says Marcellus Shale is Creating Finance Industry Jobs in Pennsylvania

State College – Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele today outlined the positive job impact of the Marcellus Shale gas industry on the financial sector, and the Corbett Administration’s support of future economic opportunities for financial professionals.

“A Penn State study shows the Marcellus Shale industry has created about 4,200 jobs in the finance and insurance sectors,” Aichele told more than 150 certified public accountants at a two-day conference on Marcellus Shale issues, hosted by the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs in State College. “This kind of job creation throughout our economy is why Governor Corbett is doing all he can to support Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania.”

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry statistics indicate there were more than 218,000 in-state jobs in Marcellus Shale core and ancillary industries by the end of 2010.

The Department of State, which licenses 29 professions including accountants, is working with the State Board of Accountancy to encourage continuing education providers to offer courses dealing specifically with Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania, Aichele said. The board will accept Marcellus Shale courses provided by an approved program sponsor and contributing directly to the maintenance of professional competence of a CPA or public accountant.

“Having specific training in the many areas of business and personal income and taxes arising from the Marcellus Shale industry will provide opportunities for our license holders to increase their business, and create jobs in the financial services industry,” Aichele said. “By providing continuing education courses from approved program sponsors, we can assure businesses and individuals receiving income from Marcellus Shale they can have confidence in our license holders to give sound advice and make the most of this economic opportunity.”

Aichele said this policy dovetails with the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs’ creation of a Marcellus Shale task force to identify ways for financial professionals to take advantage of this growing industry in Pennsylvania.

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