Located about 130 miles northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh. Lycoming County is included in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Founded: April 13, 1795 (from Northumberland County)
County seat: Williamsport
Area: 1,216 square miles
To learn more about how responsible shale gas production is a game changer for the U.S., please read CEA’s New Energy Future Report click here.
To read about CEA’s Marcellus Moratorium effort, please click here.
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together consumers, producers and manufacturers to engage in a meaningful dialogue about America’s energy future. Our mission is to help ensure stable prices for consumers and improve energy security. We believe energy development impacts everyone, and thus it is necessary for all consumers to actively engage in the conversation about the importance of energy to the economy and how we develop and diversify our energy resources. CEA promotes a thoughtful dialogue to help produce our abundant energy supply, and balance our energy needs with our nation’s environmental and conservation goals.
Pittsburgh, PA – According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), Pennsylvania is the fastest-growing natural gas-producing state, with estimates that the Commonwealth may be on pace to become the second-largest producer in 2013.
Pennsylvania continues to see a number of significant benefits through reduced energy costs, employment growth and economic revitalization. In fact, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently projected that about two-thirds of Pennsylvanians who heat their homes with natural gas are heading into December paying the lowest prices in a decade for this time of year.
Significant impacts have also been seen in the counties where natural gas production continues to thrive. Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic continues to highlight the positive examples of economic influence that domestic shale gas development has had on communities across the nation in Part VIII of their series — this time showcasing Lycoming County, PA.
With more than 115,000 residents, Lycoming County is located about 130 miles northwest of Philadelphia and 165 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh.
Best known as the birthplace of the Little League World Series, Williamsport, PA., along with the surrounding Lycoming County has become an area known for Marcellus Shale development. In fact, new hope has emerged in towns like Williamsport, PA, as shale gas reserves trapped deep beneath the landscape have provided a tremendous boost to the local economy.
In many ways, shale gas production in Lycoming County has transformed the region’s economic growth, making it the seventh fastest-growing community on a percentage basis in the nation. Click here to watch a video about how the discovery and development of the Marcellus shale has helped make Williamsport, PA one of the fastest growing metropolises in the country.
Dr. Vincent J. Matteo, President of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, said he has not seen an economic boom such as the one that simultaneously fills local restaurants and hotels, and generates an influx of optimism among many of the local businesses now benefiting from the area’s burgeoning oil and gas industry.
Click here to view a short clip of Dr. Vincent J. Matteo, President of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, discussing the importance of the economic growth taking place in Williamsport-Lycoming.
Matteo also pointed out within the past three years, about 115 new businesses were opened and about 2,000 people have been hired for those businesses.
While established hotels and restaurants are experiencing an uptick in patronage, new businesses are also opening up all over the county. “You’ve seen the growth not only from the companies moving into the area, but from our legacy companies, the ones that have been here that have expanded their employment as a direct result of the natural-gas exploration,” added Matteo.
Click here to hear from more local business owners about some of the ways the Marcellus shale boom has positively impacted their businesses.
In fact, the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus recently convened a field hearing where economic experts from Tioga, Bradford, Clinton and Lycoming counties met to discuss the economic impact of natural gas development in their communities. At the field hearing, Jeff Wheeland, Chairman of the Lycoming County Commission, pointed out that more gas wells were drilled in Lycoming County than in any other county in the state in 2012.
Additionally, U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, deemed the development of natural gas in the region a “game changer.” Marino also stated that gas development in Lycoming County is booming, with 75 percent of its private land leased to gas developers and the development of the Marcellus Shale beginning to relieve U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Housing is another prime example of how the surging shale gas industry has impacted Lycoming County’s economy. According to Brent Fish, president of Fish Real Estate, the average cost of a home in the U.S. dropped 30 percent between 2006 and 2012, while the average cost to purchase a home in Williamsport increased 17 percent in areas with oil and gas development, despite a nationwide recession.
Paychecks of residents in areas where Marcellus Shale development is strong are growing as well; from 2010 to 2012, Williamsport-Lycoming County saw a 6% increase to $38,060.
Another important impact from Marcellus Shale development on Lycoming County has been from the large impact fees that have significantly contributed to the county’s economic growth. In fact, Lycoming County received over $16.6 million in impact fees over the last few years. Thanks to the revenue from impact fees, much has been improved.
While most of Lycoming County’s impact fee money went into either improving roads and bridges ($1.1 million) or was deposited in the capital reserve fund ($1.9 million), $330,000 was spent to demolish the old Brodart warehouse on Memorial Avenue in Williamsport to create affordable housing.
Despite the controversy over whether or not the economic benefits will endure the test of time, recent research suggests that the economic boom is likely here to stay. According to a report released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the gains in new gas wells are more than offsetting the declines from the existing ones and the Marcellus Shale accounts for three-fourths of the growth in the production across the U.S. With this in mind, it’s clear that shale resource production has become a driving force behind economic growth and job creation, not only in Lycoming County, but across the state and nation.
To learn more about Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic please visit www.consumerenergyalliance.org.