Natural gas drilling may still be in a holding pattern in New York State, but merchants along the Pennsylvania/New York border are cashing in off Keystone State-based drillers, who head north to shop. “Places are jammed,” a Chemung County official tells the New York Times.
Sales are up 60 percent at the boutique this year. At the two Holiday Inns here in Chemung County, occupancy has been at or near capacity for months at a time. And in the nearby town of Big Flats, the regional airport has added flights, parking spaces and restrooms, and is extending a runway to accommodate larger jets.
This new base of customers — workers from Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of the country with long experience in drilling natural gas wells — are drawn to the region by jobs just across the state border in rural Pennsylvania, where a kind of drilling known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, has vastly expanded over the last two years.
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