I've blogged several times in the past about how the oil and gas industry and its political allies grossly overstate the number of jobs it creates. A new report out from Pennsylvania confirms this is still happening.
According to PennLive, previous estimates in Pennsylvania included jobs in highway construction, steel mills, coal-fired power plants, sewage treatment plants, and others that were not directly or even indirectly involved in shale gas development. Industry claimed it was responsible for providing 250,000 jobs to Pennsylvanians. But a new analysis from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry has found that the real number is about 29,000 -- less than 12% of the industry claims.
John Hanger, currently the Pennsylvania Secretary of Policy and Planning, has this to say about the job numbers inflated by the previous gubernatorial administration: "Governor Corbett's office cooked the books. Everyone knows Corbett was in bed with the Marcellus Shale industry."
No one is against jobs, but we need to be realistic about the numbers. The good news is that the facts are clear: clean energy jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency are the key to sustainable economic growth, healthier communities, and safer workplaces. My colleague Pierre Bull just blogged that the solar industry added more than 31,000 jobs in 2015, growing at a rate of 22 percent when job growth for the overall economy was 1.3 percent. Growth in the solar industry was almost 50% greater than the combined job growth for the oil and gas extraction and pipeline construction industries. Jobs in the wind power industry are also growing substantially, having recently gone from 50,500 to 73,000. Clean energy and energy efficiency are where our focus should be.