Shale development has had an undeniable economic impact on the United States, including increased energy supply, improved energy security, consumer savings and job creation--along with making our country’s manufacturing industry more competitive. The oil and natural gas industry is directly increasing the U.S. GDP, providing significant tax revenue to states and communities, and helping family-operated farms across Pennsylvania.
Natural gas is clean, abundant, cheap, and has become the primary source for U.S. power generation. Natural gas surpassed coal as the leading fuel for electricity in 2016, which was first time in U.S. history. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects domestic natural gas demand will grow by 35 Bcfd, or 40% by 2025. Much of that demand will come from an increase in LNG exports.
Washington County, Pennsylvania
Washington & Jefferson College's Center for Energy Policy and Management study found that the oil & gas industry had a $6 Billion economic impact in Washington County, Range’s core operating area, from 2011-2013.
- $6 billion economic impact in Washington County
- $410 million in state & local taxes, impact fee taxes, and lease & royalty payments on taxpayer-owned land in Washington County
- 11,000 family-sustaining jobs, 10% total employment in Washington county
- 20% of Washington County’s economic output
In addition to the economic impact of shale gas development, natural gas production in Washington County and its municipalities generated more than $410 million in revenues: $350 million in state and local tax revenues generated by the industry, $41 million in Marcellus Shale impact fee taxes, and $19 million in lease and royalty payments for taxpayer-owned county properties. This does not include additional lease and royalty payments that individual municipalities and school districts have received, amounting to millions of additional dollars in taxpayer coffers.
In a few short years the shale gas industry went from virtually no jobs to more than 10,000 family-sustaining jobs as of 2013. Those jobs account for nearly ten-percent of the total county employment.
To read more about the Washington & Jefferson Economic Impact Study see: Researchers: Shale, $6 billion economic impact on Washington County
Pennsylvania Impact Fee and Taxes
In Pennsylvania the oil & gas industry has paid more than $1 Billion in impact fees over the past five years. Specifically, Range paid more toward the impact fee than any other operator in the last two years and more than $125 million in total fees since 2011.
The impact fee dollars directly benefit areas with the most shale development activity. Washington County, Range’s core operating area, has received more than $27 million since 2011. Some municipalities in Washington County have received more than $500,000 a year in impact fee dollars largely due to Range’s activity in the township.
The natural gas industry has paid an additional $318 million in other state taxes since 2009. At the same time, businesses that support the industry paid another $1.4 billion in state taxes.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, state income tax collections on royalties paid to landowners totaled $235 million from 2007-2012 alone. When totaled, producers paid about $7.7 billion in lease bonuses and royalties across Pennsylvania.
- $1 billion in impact fees paid over the past five years
- More than $2.1 billion in tax revenue generated in Pennsylvania through 2013
- $700+ million in royalties from shale development on public lands
To read more about the impact fee see:
Natural Gas Impact Fee Brings Hope and Help
PUC: Interactive Impact Fee Site
Royalties & Payments
Shale development is a partnership that goes beyond Range and its contractors; it’s a partnership with the communities where our employees live and work. These partnerships have brought great opportunities for lessors, local governments and community members. Since 2006, Range has paid more than $1.6 billion in leasing and royalty payments across Pennsylvania. The majority of those dollars were distributed in Range’s core operating area of Washington County, where a total of $1.2 billion dollars has gone to lessors.
A significant amount of those dollars have been directly paid to local governments. Between 2003-2014, Washington County received nearly $20 million from county-owned properties that have been leased, including Cross Creek County Park, where Range has drilled more than 30 wells. Recently the county was able to build and open a new boat launch and recreation area in Cross Creek using funds that originated almost exclusively from royalty payments from wells Range drilled. The county is also constructing a new “Discovery Cove” feature at Cross Creek, which will include a boardwalk, trail and fishing pier at the public park.
In Pennsylvania, an analysis by found that farm estates have increased in value due to leasing and production.
- Real estate values in shale counties grew 8 percentage points more than non-shale counties.
- Pennsylvania farm properties, which appreciated 28 percentage points more than farms in New York, where hydraulic fracturing was banned.
- The wealth of farm families in Pennsylvania increased $466 million, or an average $130,000 per farm.