May 11, 2015 - 4:00pm

Pennsylvania and New York: 2 States; 2 Hydraulic Fracturing Policies; 2 Different Results

Senior Editor, Digital Content


A natural gas drilling rig in Bradford County, Penn.
A natural gas drilling rig in Bradford County, Penn. Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

Good public policy matters. That’s plainly seen along the New York-Pennsylvania Border. On the Keystone State’s side, hydraulic fracturing is permitted, while Governor Cuomo banned it in the Empire State last December.

On the New York side of the border, restaurant owner Marian Szarejko told The Daily Signal she’s calling it quits and closing her pizza shop:

“There are no jobs here,” Szarejko said. “Business has gone down so much that I am dipping into my savings just to keep this afloat.”

Szarejko’s decision echoes a common theme that has plagued the southern tier of upstate New York for years—a lack of economic development.

“If I owned a place in Pennsylvania, I wouldn’t be thinking of closing. I would be thinking about expanding,” Szarejko said. “The difference is they did fracking.”

While across the border in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, county board chairman Doug McLinko, expounded on the gains from natural gas development:

“We are the most drilled on county in the Marcellus Shale,” McLinko said. “We flow the most gas in the state. The last eight to ten years has been the most incredible boom of prosperity I have ever witnessed in my life.”

According to a 2014 report published by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Bradford County saw a 19 percent increase in taxable income from 2007 to 2010, providing additional revenue for investment in the county.

“We have seen 200 million dollars in market value go into our county,” McLinko said. “The ripple effects are we have cut taxes and eliminated out county debt.”

“When I look across the border to New York State, once again it is bad policy affecting awfully good people up there.”

Pennsylvania ranks third in natural gas production. An Institute for 21st Century Energy study found that by 2020, shale energy development will support over 220,000 jobs there.

Frustration with New York’s hydraulic fracturing ban has driven some communities to consider breaking off and joining Pennsylvania.

This isn’t to say that Pennsylvania couldn’t mess with the good thing it has going by passing Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax on natural gas drilling.

Nevertheless, New Yorkers want to see the economic benefits in their communities that Pennsylvania has seen from embracing its energy abundance.

“I want to help see New York grow and to thrive,” Szarejko said.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.