Thompson talks shale

U.S. Representative Glenn 'GT' Thompson (PA-5) was present yesterday afternoon during a board of directors meeting at the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission and discussed an array of topics pertinent to the area, the most profound being the Marcellus Shale boost."We obviously have a lot of opportunities in our area with the Marcellus natural gas," Thompson said. "I want to thank [North Central] for what you're doing in that and the partnerships, and in promoting that. "What an exciting time this is and it's already created 88,000 jobs in Pennsylvania."The congressman indicated that the number of jobs that will be created is estimated at 200,000."It's kind of interesting to watch the Marcellus natural gas evolve over this congressional district," Thompson said. "The epicenter of where this really started was kind of Bradford County, outside of the district, but in Tioga County. "Today, or at least over this last quarter, for the first time ever, their unemployment went way below the state and national averages, and that was a direct result of the natural gas industry."Tioga County, located just south of the New York state line, was once a poverty-stricken area that has now seen vast improvement due to gas drilling."When I'm going to Tioga County, I know I have to plan way ahead of time because I can't find a room to stay in," Thompson said. "The prosperity is just unbelievable and when this kind of opportunity happens in rural America, rural Pennsylvania, everybody benefits." Fore more on this story, see the Oct. 28 edition of The Daily Press.