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Environment & Energy

What Happened To 160,000 Fracking Jobs? Under Wolf, The Numbers Change

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AP Photo/Ralph Wilson
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In this April 23, 2010 photo, workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County.

Somehow Pennsylvania lost 160,000 gas industry jobs overnight.

What happened? Did drillers flee at the specter of a new tax on production? Not quite. Although companies have been laying off workers and cutting costs– lackluster market conditions don’t explain this shift.

Instead, it was a decision made under Governor Wolf’s new administration. Last week the state Department of Labor and Industry quietly changed the way it tracks employment in the Marcellus Shale industry.

“Those numbers were a joke,” says John Hanger, Wolf’s secretary of planning and policy. ”The errors were so glaring, they had to be changed.”

Read more of this report at the website of our partner StateImpact Pennsylvania.