Pennsylvania will hire 68 oil and gas inspectors this year in response to the Marcellus Shale boom. This is a 54% increase in staff. The new inspectors will help the Department of Environmental Protection manage an increase in applications (5,200) to drill natural gas wells in the Marcellus Formation, which lies under most of the state. Governor Ed Rendell said that the bureau was exempt from the state’s hiring freeze because it is funded entirely with gas-drilling fees. These fees are expected to generate $11 million this year.
Environmental groups in Pennsylvania are praising this decision. Jan Jarrett, president of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future said, “The governor’s announcements…put us on the right road to grow the economy and protect the environment.”Pennsylvania Will Hire 68 Gas and Oil Drilling Inspectors by Harrison Barnes