Eco-jobs or Echo-jobs

Out of West Virginia University is a new report focused directly on us and greater Westsylvania. See:  Regional Pittsburgh: The New Energy Economy.

A lot of it focuses on some macro level energy issues for the US and really only gets to local issues at the margin.  However, the new coverage of this report highlights the ‘quarter million’ jobs forecast for Marcellus Shale development in the US.  I was curious if this meant there was some new independent validation of the big jobs forecast for shale gas development in Pennsylvania, but no..  the report states that number, but merely references one of the now many Penn State reports on Marcellus Shale.  So it is the exact number as in the Considine et alia, reports in recent years.  There is no new analysis of any jobs forecast in the report as best I can tell, it is just an echo of the one report as updated and does not mention at all any of the other controversies over the Marcellus job forecasts..

Mapophiles will note they discuss what the greater Pittsburgh region means geographically…  they note on page 15 or so some maps with distances centered around Pittsburgh.  The most curious thing about this is that it is a report out of West Virginia that really accepts a Pittsburgh-centrism you rarely see even here.  It really represents a big step forward in a lot of projects promoting regionalism here (P32, Indicators among others) that such an idea would come out of WV.

I have a hard time characterizing the overall report.  Is it a policy report, an economic report or something else? I say that because in the ‘The Opportunity’ section is this paragraph which I guess borders on political economy:

Sometime in the recent past, we became complacent; letting the good life lull us into a sense that all is well and someone else will handle all of the problems. This approach has clearly fallen short of the world leadership position that we grew accustomed to, leaving us lagging behind in technology, the value of the dollar, loss of the more technically based jobs and capabilities, and the disenfranchisement of our youth for the future that they will soon inherit.

It’s like a pep talk more than anything else and certainly has a magnum opus kind of feel. Curious.

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