Pennsylvania is no stranger to oil and natural gas production. In fact more than 350,000 oil and natural gas wells have been drilled for Pennsylvania natural gas since Colonel Drake developed the first commercial oil well in 1859. And now it finds itself in the middle of a shale gas revolution.

Marcellus Shale: Supporting Pennsylvania Communities

In Pennsylvania, jobs from fracking pay $62,000 on average, nearly $18,500 to almost $25,000 a year more than the state average, according to a Penn State study.

And the benefits of natural gas production will only increase. By 2020, full development of the Marcellus Shale could support more than 211,000 Pennsylvania fracking jobs, according to a study by Natural Resources Economics, Inc.

...during 2010 Pennsylvania Marcellus natural gas development generated $11.2 billion in value added or the regional equivalent of gross domestic product, contributed $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues, and supported nearly 140,000 jobs.

The Pennsylvania Marcellus Natural Gas Industry: Status, Economic Impacts and Future Potential

Marcellus Shale development promises enormous economic benefits to Pennsylvania and raises important environmental, economic and land-use issues that should be robustly debated. But such development is not new. It is not unproven. It is not unsafe.

Robert W. Watson, emeritus associate professor at Penn State University

Oil and gas exploration is regulated under the state's oil and gas laws (Oil and Gas Act, Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act, and Oil and Gas Conservation Law), and the environmental protection laws that include the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Water Resources Planning Act.

PA Department of Environmental Protection