In the ongoing press event that is Dimock, PA, yesterday Gasland creator Josh Fox and actor Mark Rufalo, among others, gathered in Dimock to keep up the pressure and to continue to demagogue what has really happened in Dimock. See MDN’s previous coverage for background. A brief summary of events leading up to yesterday’s dueling press conferences:
Shell is moving into natural gas in a major way. In fact, natural gas will eclipse crude oil for Shell sometime next year by being more than 50 percent of Shell’s global production. Shell has committed to spending $2 billion to build an ethane cracker plant in the Marcellus region of the U.S., and now they are talking about building a gas-to-liquids plant. Shell invested an astonishing $19 billion in a gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar. Imagine that investment coming to the U.S.! Such is the transformative power of shale gas.
One of the criticisms of the Marcellus shale gas drilling industry is that although it brings with it an economic boom, including many jobs, sometimes those jobs are taken by out-of-state workers and not local workers. Drillers will say there are not enough skilled local workers to fill the positions. Labor leaders and local economic development officials will say, “Train them and there will be!”
According to Dave Efaw, secretary-treasurer of the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council, local drillers need to step up to the plate and start hiring more local workers:
According to officials in West Virginia, who are super-serious about attracting at least one ethane cracker plant to their state, Shell and one other company will announce site selections for their plants in January of 2012. West Virginia fully intends that at least one of those two plants will be inside their borders, and they are pulling out all of the stops to ensure it happens. In fact, according to WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s chief of staff, it’s the newly-elected governor’s “No. 1 goal.”
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