by Scott Roberts on May 17
My blogging raised some eyebrows last weekend.
We were in Shippensburg for my youngest daughter’s graduation. After the speeches and while we waited for her name to be called so we could, hopefully, make enough of a ruckus to embarrass her (that of course being the general purpose for the whole ceremony) I mentioned that I had written my first blog.
The reaction was open-mouthed slack-jawed amazement. Knowing the grammar challenges that I picked up as a kid at Johnstown High School and my use of the Hawaiian typing method (Whack-a-key), I understood. I thought about this blog because I was thinking about opportunities for the Class of 2011 and that those opportunities are the real reason we need to get it right on natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania.
April’s report notes that there are 30,700 jobs in the ‘Mining and Logging’ category. This is the category where the jobs of people actually working on the exploration and production of natural gas are found. Probably less than 10,000 of that total are actually miners and loggers. The real eye-popping number is the 26.3% increase in these jobs in the period from March 2010 to March 2011. Only the development of the Marcellus can account for this change.
Obviously, this is not only good for the abstract notion of the ‘Commonwealth’ but is good for all those kids who roasted in the bright sunshine in Shippensburg last weekend. The production of minerals is, along with agriculture and forestry, one of the foundations of wealth and prosperity in any civilization. A prosperous economy creates jobs. Jobs create stability and well-being. In this sense, Pennsylvania’s shale gas resources are a tide that will lift all of our boats.
It was these kinds of thoughts going through my mind that caused me to blurt out that I was writing a blog. After the kids recovered from their shock and wiped the tears of laughter from their eyes they started to ask me what I was writing about, my oldest daughter even asked me to send her the link. This slang is probably already old school but here’s a ‘shout out’ to Rhiannon. Kelvin, eh. (Don’t worry, they’ll understand.)