Imagine, Pennsylvania, if the greens get their way.
The Scranton Times-Tribune reports:
Vince Arena has a commanding view of Route 6 from Moore’s Auto Showroom. Since 2006, he has seen the traffic on the two-lane road swell with the region’s gas boom until it is bumper-to-bumper, light-to-light for miles just about all day.
Every few seconds, a tractor-trailer hauling water or massive pumps to or from drill sites rumbles past. For the last few weeks, however, Mr. Arena has been able to pull out from his lot without relying on the kindness of other motorists to let him out.
In January, one of the region’s largest gas drillers, Chesapeake Energy Corp., announced it would reduce its rig count in the region. Its rig count will go from 75 to 24, drilling fewer new wells and reducing the flow from existing wells. Other companies made similar announcements.
Bradford County has already seen active rigs decline from 27 to 20 as of Feb. 10 as rock-bottom natural-gas prices prodded the company to drive for more lucrative fuels from the earth, such as “wet gas” from western Pennsylvania or oil from other parts of the country, according to Houston, Texas-based Baker Hughes.
Chesapeake’s announcement suggested the natural gas rush has decelerated.
“As soon as the announcement came out, you could see the traffic lighten up,” said Mr. Arena, who was wearing a Chesapeake Energy cap.
Economic activity is tied closely to rig count, said Anthony J. Ventello, executive director of the Progress Authority, which handles economic development for Bradford and Susquehanna counties.
“As goes the rig count, so goes the economy,” Mr. Ventello said, noting that a rig has an economic impact not unlike that of an itinerant factory. “As an industry, natural gas is not going away, but we are in a slowdown that will have an effect on the economy”…