Saying it is “a great time to be a Pennsylvanian,” Gov. Tom Corbett thanked the oil and natural gas industry for bringing thousands of jobs to his state and predicted an even brighter future as he kicked off the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Shale Gas Insight 2012 Conference in Philadelphia on Thursday.

“I’m convinced that we are at the beginning of a new industry revolution, and you are the tip of the spear,” Corbett told conference attendees. “The Marcellus industry’s record has borne out almost every optimistic prediction. We predicted jobs, and the jobs are here…It can bring us jobs and prosperity while protecting the landscape from damage. Pennsylvania is getting it right.”

According to Corbett, nearly 240,000 Pennsylvanians are now employed in the natural gas industry or ancillary businesses. He also said nearly 30,000 of his constituents work in the core Marcellus industry, earning on average $30,000 more per year than the typical state resident.

“The Marcellus Shale gas play, and the bounty that lies beneath it in the Utica, give our society an opportunity to advance and to prosper,” Corbett said.

Corbett said he was pleased to see the state’s coffers being filled with revenue from Pennsylvania’s new Marcellus Shale impact fee. Natural gas producers have paid most of the $205.9 million owed under the fee, an amount that exceeded initial expectations (see Shale Daily, Sept. 12).

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