The shale gas and oil boom’s economic impact is being felt well beyond the energy sector, two Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) board members told the House Energy & Mineral Resources Subcommittee March 14.
Whit Perryman, CEO of Vermeer Equipment of Texas-Louisiana and AED’s 2013 vice president, and Don Shilling, president of General Equipment & Supplies and AED’s 2013 senior vice president, said shale energy development resulting from improvements in hydraulic fracturing has led to new business activity and growth for their companies, the construction industry, and their communities. The two were testifying at a hearing entitled, “America’s Onshore Energy Resources: Creating Jobs, Securing America, and Lowering Prices.”
“My company is not unique in having been positively impacted by the shale energy boom. AED estimates the economic impact of the equipment revenues from shale energy activity reported in Texas at well over $2.4 billion,” Perryman told lawmakers.
“Not only has the energy boon allowed me to hire more workers at higher salaries, it has benefited communities across Texas and Louisiana. Families that once lived on nearly worthless property are now leasing their land and mineral rights. Unemployment is at all-time lows. Companies are reinvesting in their businesses and expanding, which is benefiting workers and creating new tax revenues,” Perryman said.
In addition to discussing how domestic energy extraction has benefited his company and customers in the Dakotas, Shilling spoke on the importance of letting states take the lead in regulating energy development and enacting legislation to streamline the permitting process on federal lands. Shilling was testifying in both his AED capacity and on behalf of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), a newly-created organization representing industries and workers supporting energy development.
“The economic, job creation, and national security benefits of shale energy development are clear. However, in order for the economy to reap the full reward from shale energy, the federal government must refrain from micromanaging the industry and defer to state regulators,” Shilling said.
“EEIA strongly supports legislation to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to include North and South Dakota in a federal permit streamlining a pilot project located at the Bureau of Land Management’s Miles City, Mont., field office. The proposal will help reduce the wait for permits to drill on federal lands, which means more economic growth and opportunity for my company, my employees, and my customers, not to mention lower energy prices for American consumers and manufacturers.”
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