2nd NEPA County Attracting Business with Locally Produced Gas

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MDN has spotted what we believe is a rather ingenious trend in Northeastern Pennsylvania. One of the ongoing “problems” with drilling in gas-rich, rural counties like Susquehanna and Wyoming counties is that the gas gets extracted–and promptly exported out of the region via pipelines. Locals don’t have the option of tapping in to the cheap, abundant, clean-burning source that comes out of the ground beneath them. Susquehanna County has 43,000 residents (11,700 families). The largest “city” in Susquehanna County is the county seat of Montrose, population 1,600 (750 households). It’s just not all that economical to run natural gas pipelines to homes around the county–even though residents live atop an embarrassing riches of natural gas. One company, Leatherstocking Natural Gas, changed all that in early 2014 when they started to run pipelines to residences and businesses around Montrose (see PA Rural Residents Burn Marcellus Gas, Save Big Bucks on Heating). Last year Montrose held a business expo–an attempt to lure businesses to start or relocate in Montrose’s bucolic community. One of the key advantages? Hook up to cheap natural gas. It’s working. And that example is now being copied by neighboring Wyoming County, just to the south of Susquehanna County. The Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and UGI Energy Services are working on a deal to bring locally produced natural gas to residents and businesses in Wyoming’s largest “city”–Tunkhannock (population 1,836). The Chamber is trying to get a $1 million grant from the state to help defray the cost for locals to connect to a new pipeline system that will flow local gas…

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