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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Should the Fact that Upstate New York is Economically Depressed be an Argument for Fracking?

Should the Fact that Upstate New York is Economically Depressed be an Argument for Fracking?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 05:46

The NYT implies that it is when it tells readers that:

"Many of those involved [in the fracking debate] said it was unlikely that Governor Cuomo would turn his back on the gas industry and ban drilling in the rich Marcellus and Utica shale deposits covering much of the economically depressed southern and western reaches of the state."

If the industry creates relatively few jobs, most of which go to skilled workers from outside of the state, and then leaves the area permanently scarred, it is not clear that fracking is beneficial to economically depressed areas.

Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Kat, January 10, 2012 9:19
More on the jobs claims (and economic value) of the fracking industry: http://aede.osu.edu/sites/drup...s/Economic Value of Shale Dec 2011.pdf
written by Kat, January 10, 2012 9:23
Rents Will Double and Triple
written by JoblessInJersey, January 10, 2012 1:22
Because the gas workers come from other states, they need local housing. When people from out of town are willing to pay two and three times the rent, that creates a terrible problem for local residents.

The local employers won't pay much more, but the rent doubles and triples.

Many of the locals will end up worse off when fracking comes to down, and that's just economically. God knows what the real truth about the environmental effects will turn out to be.
it impacts different people at different times
written by Blissex, January 11, 2012 5:00
As to local residents, local property owners and businessmen will be overjoyed by even a small surge of new customers with deep pockets, those that are not property owners or businessmen will see their cost of living surge as someone noted in a previous comment. Some will find jobs in the service industry around the fracking industry.

This is of course is very good news for a politician, because property and business interests will help his re-election, and poor people often don't vote.

But the clincher is that the benefits to local property and business interests happen now, and the damage to the environment as well as other obvious negative effects all happen much later.

There is little that boosts a politician's fortunes as an extractive boom on their watch in their area...
written by kharris, January 11, 2012 7:58
It is fairly common for environmentally damaging activity to be concentrated in impoverished areas. The poor can be made to put up with things that the rest of us never would.
Vultures Love Fracking
written by beth, January 12, 2012 2:51
gods. Do we have to bar the heirs of the 19th century moguls from corporate socialism and gov't influence before ourcomprehension can be upgraded to Reality as we know it to be Now?

The Public bears sll of the costs (health, water, soil,and air quality)of all the damages while the reapers profit in the short term. Why do we keep repeating bad policies?

If the Public invested the equivalent of all those costs into the region, lending at low interest and making grants, wouldn't the long term effects likely be more sustainable and reflect the ingenuity and creativity of the people who live there for generations?
Timing is everything.
written by S. D. Jeffries, January 12, 2012 2:48
An enormous amount of fracking is going on in South Texas right now. If Perry's governorship is over before the fracking is done, he will be a hero. If the fracking ends before his term does, the ranchers and farmers in South Texas will have time to realistically evaluate the damage done to their property, their herds and their crops, and Perry will be lucky to get out of office alive.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.