We live and work in an area where jobs have been created and sustained through the rapid increase of shale production. “Pennsylvania’s abundant energy resources have spurred economic investment and brought jobs to the state. Studies have tallied nearly 322,600 jobs in Pennsylvania that provide nearly $23 billion in wages to Pennsylvanians.” The numbers of created jobs are exciting for growth in Pennsylvania, but the state’s average poverty level still sits around 12.9%. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Washington and Greene counties have poverty levels of 10% and 15.3% respectively. In two of the counties thriving from shale exploration, the poverty levels are still hovering around the state average.
oil and gas
On September 17th I wrote about "Relief at the Pumps," talking about lower gas prices are on the way. Since then retail gas prices have moved higher. In Pittsburgh, PA 87 grade Unleaded gasoline prices are now averaging $3.15 per gallon with a high of $3.239.
The U.S. typically sees a drop in gasoline prices as demand begins to tail off at the end of the summer travel season. This year is breaking the trend with gasoline prices sitting at their highest for the season since 2014, due in large part to the global oil price rally. AAA reports that the national price average was at $2.867 as of Wednesday, September 26th. Gasoline prices were 27 cents higher per gallon than they were at the same time last year, and this backwards trend could continue into the fall and winter seasons.
Crude prices have been surging the last few weeks with the expected loss of Iranian supply beginning November 4th. With that, the U.S. has been ramping up pressure on OPEC to increase production in an attempt to lower oil prices.
The Bureau of Land Management, under the Department of the Interior, held a two-day auction on 142 parcels of land in New Mexico at the beginning of September. The results from this single sale has surpassed their sales numbers from all transactions in 2017 combined. The land lease sale of nearly US $1 billion will provide ample land to further boost the already growing oil production in the state.