The depressing, cynical answer? You don't. This report was written by the energy industry, so I'd immediately suspect it, except that it dovetails nicely with everything else I've read. See page 19–20 of this report.
Our analysis indicates that the Marcellus gas industry in Pennsylvania directly
added $1.98 billion in value added to the economy during 2009, which then generated
indirect and induced impacts that increased the total value added by $1.89 billion. Hence,
the total economic impact of the Marcellus industry in Pennsylvania is $3.87 billion
during calendar year 2009, which comprises 0.68 percent of the $573.7 billion in total
value added in the Pennsylvania economy during 2009.
I don't know. Today I'm depressed about many prospects, not least of which is the water in my home county. I went home this past week or so and took a bunch of pictures with the intention of writing something comprehensive about the industry and its effects, but now I find myself questioning the point. The overall feel among the people I spoke with seemed to be something along the lines of, they're going to take the gas anyway so might as well try to make some money while they do. And I've heard at least some of the energy companies seem very good: responsive to phone calls, quick to dig a new well if your old one gets gas in it, trying to lessen the impact of their work. And I keep looking at that number in the header. I don't know if you can fight something that's bringing that kind of cash in. I don't even live there anymore and I'm resigned to the place looking like hell. But then my brother reminded me, our water as kids was no good anyway, and the water in the barn and pasture could be lit on fire even in the 70s, and we survived. We'll survive. That's the bitch of it, to look forward to forest scenes of capped wells and crap-ass roads and who knows what else. I'm not going to link to shale articles for a while. I need to take some time away from it to learn more, straighten my opinions out and well, learn more. I feel like I've been going at it half-cocked, and that's no good.