Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Energy musings and the maligned Pennsylvania business climate

Just reading the news about on how the big merger between FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy, which is a really big deal for the region for a lot of reasons beyond the job count, nonetheless could potentially drop jobs in the region by up to 900.  Potentially losing 900 jobs goes an awfuly way to offest even the gains we are reading about elsewhere in energy related activity in the region.   I read also about how the planned expansion of Range Resources would increase their jobs count locally by a couple hundred jobs or so, from the 300+ they are at today to 5-700 according to the news stories.  If you are looking at energy related impact in the region, you need to look at the whole picture is all I am saying.  I kind of wonder how much Range Resources itself is responsible for what has been observed in the data thus far.

One of the big mysteries to me is how there is lots of talk about Pennsylvania as being such an anti-business state.  Yet consider how New York State has put a stop on almost all Marcelleus Shale development while the activity in Pennsylvania is going on about as fast as the firms involved can deploy resources.  A big issue in itself, but I really am just wondering at the moment about the perception or reality of Pennsylvania's business climate.   Are we better or wose than our New York neighbor which would be one of main competitiors for lots of investments just because of geography? Whatever your perspective, it's just night and day between the two states on how they are handling all things Marcellus.  Just curious is all 


Blogger Jim Russell said...

Perhaps you've referenced it already. I appreciated the FT interview with Penn State's Terry Engelder. An excerpt:

You realize that in Pennsylvania, the DEP as recently as Spring 2008 did not have a strategy for dealing with gas production from the Marcellus. So, since the spring 2008, they have been learning how to do it, and how to do it right. People of New York have said we’ve got to stop this until we know we can do it right. What New York has done is equivalent to telling a brain surgeon ‘you can’t practice until you in the brain of a live person’. The analogy holds for the gas industry; progress is not made without practice. Industry has to experiment. Industry has to learn what went wrong to get it right next time. The industry evolves that way and writing reports is not going to replace the experience of doing this.

New York of course may take the attitude that Pennsylvania will make the mistakes and New York can learn from Pennsylvania’s experience. That is true but someone had to take the lead.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010 8:58:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Pa was ranked number 20 in the CNBC state business rankings last month, which isn't too bad. But they said that was up ten places and explained the increase by stating hat Pa didn't get better, just that the other states got worse. Basically, since we didn't boom during the boom, we haven't busted during the bust.

The Tax Foundation has Pa listed at 27th, up a couple. Forbes has Pa at 33, up from 41.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous McC said...

The Marcellus Shale issue aside, saying that PA doesn't have an anti-business climate as bad as NY is damning with very faint praise.

Saturday, August 07, 2010 4:24:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

possibly so... but that just begs the question of who we are being compared to when folks say the business climate in Pennsylvnia is so poor. Business climate is entirely a relative construct from a state policy perspective. Certainly New York state has to be way up on the list of who is relevant when it comes to investment. Is it really anywhere near important how our business climate compares with say Mississippi??

Sunday, August 08, 2010 4:46:00 AM  

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