We have CNBC with the almost rote analogy to a small country in the Middle East: Marcellus Turns Pennsylvania Into 'Saudi Arabia' of Natgas. Let's ignore that I swear they have rerun the exact same story in the past. Also put aside that we have long been the 'Saudi Arabia' of coal fwiw.
But here is a story in that rag of a paper the Financial Times worth reading in general: Rust belt states of Midwest lead US manufacturing revival. (pseudo paywall... accessible free with registration). Lots in that worth reading that is relevant to Western Pennsylvania but part of one paragraph had a slightly different view of all things shale:
While cheaper shale energy has been pitched as a competitive advantage for American manufacturing, it also has not yet translated into more jobs, according to a Morgan Stanley research paper released last week. “We find very little real evidence of a renaissance in US manufacturing activity [as a result of shale gas],” the authors wrote. “Outside of the chemicals sector, low natural gas prices will probably have limited ramifications on capacity decisions.”Does Morgan Stanley have some reason to be biased against shale gas development? (They seem pretty positive on shale to me) Is the Financial Times squawking crazy thoughts? These are not exactly anti-capitalist, anti-development ideologues. Sure seems to be discounted by the media in that I see little other reference to the Morgan Stanley report mentioned there.
Locally the news is yet more complicated. From the regional Herald Standard just the other day: Marcellus shale gas drilling in area peaked in 2011. US Steel says demand for its tubular products dropped 50% in the first quarter of this year. Add in what I come up with for the trend across Pennsylvania and there just might be a pattern emerging.