The New Albany shale play could add jobs and economic growth to the southern Illinois economy – but only if environmental protestors don't succeed in banning hydraulic fracturing statewide.
A minimum of approximately 1,000 jobs would be created or supported each year through exploration of the play, which is in its infancy. However, more than 47,000 jobs per year, or more than $9.5 billion of economic impact, could be created or supported if the study's highest scenario is realized, according to the study conducted by Dr. David G. Loomis, professor of economics at Illinois State University.
Loomis conducted the study for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation in response to environmental groups' push for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the Illinois General Assembly seeks to create regulations governing fracking.
While the play might not turn out to be productive, particularly with current natural gas prices, crafting a regulatory model on hydraulic fracturing will create a roadmap for the industry so oil and gas companies know where to go.