Shale Development Key to Rejuvinating the Upstate Economy

To the Governor’s credit and, really, most lawmakers, Albany has been taking a closer look at numerous economic issues that have been plaguing our economy…particularly upstate.

But it has been a long and arduous road that Albany has taken to find the silver bullet to reinvigorate the long-forgotten upstate economy.  But unlike the many “holy grail” quests for the answer to this riddle, a debate the has been raging for years may be the key to solving the riddle.  Never before has the safe, readily available technology or opportunity presented itself like it has in the Marcellus Shale region of New York.  This, to use an overused phrase, is a real game changer for our state.

At this moment, an untapped potential to both jumpstart a stagnate economy and reduce the fiscal strain on our communities and school districts.  In one safe and sensible swoop, New York can take a large leap at creating jobs, while pushing back against a rapidly approaching fiscal cliff.

  • Spur over $11.4 billion in new economic output
  • Generate $1.4 billion in local and state tax revenues
  • Create anywhere from 15,000 to 35,000 jobs

Those three points highlight some of the direct estimated benefits of shale development….if New York moves forward.

If you don’t believe me, grab a pair of binoculars and look across the border into Pennsylvania.

The positives for New York’s economy extend from direct economic activity to a significant induced boon to local businesses.  From hotels to retail, restaurants and manufacturer’s, the length of increased economic activity is endless.

Consider the needs that will need to be met, if and when, the vast resources of the Marcellus Shale begin to be tapped.  How many hardware stores, large and small, will be used to directly supply the industry?  How many pots of coffee, donuts baked or steaks be consumed by those working in the industry?  The answer is exponentially greater than what is needed and produced today.

As the demand grows, so will revenue for existing small businesses.  As small businesses grow, wages and job opportunities grow with them.  The induced economic benefit of this process will drastically change the trajectory the upstate economy as a whole.

Those working in part time jobs will begin to have full time opportunities.  Those that are making minimum wage or slightly more will have the ability to earn more money.  As consumers have more flexibility in their wallets, they will invest, shop and save in their local economy.

Imagine the accelerated and increased growth this state would see if we moved forward.  Unemployment would not be 9.1%.

Imagine the economic leap that would occur if we had New Yorkers working right here, in New York, in this industry.  Imagine  some of these long boarded up, vacant commercial properties that are all across this state, were suddenly opened as a new business.

It could happen.  It needs to happen.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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