Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chesapeake Energy Entices Towanda's Police Chief to Take Gas Job

Towanda Borough Police Department has revealed that the Chief of Police, Mitch Osman, will leave the department to accept a job with Chesapeake Energy Corp. [Chief Osman may also have been frustrated (only guessing here) by the lack of extra funding and personnel needed to address the growing police needs of the area mostly due to the gas drilling industry.)A classic example of how the gas industry is siphoning off local people from public service jobs.  A few months ago, I attended a meeting about hydrofracking in Rochester, NY, at which Mike Lovegreen was a panel member.  Mike is the district manager for the Bradford County Conservation District, headquartered in Towanda, PA.  At the meeting Mike told me that several of his employees had left to accept jobs with the gas industry because the salaries were significantly higher.  He simply could not compete with that, given his budget.  And he said it was hard to find new people to fill these positions vacated by employees who left for better pay.

Boomtowns have this effect on local economies.  The Big Boys ride in to town, offer great (at least a little better) salaries to often economically depressed people.  The local people are enticed to go to work for them, in an effort to provide a better life for their families.  The local businesses take a hit.  It becomes a mono-economy, dependent on the gas industry.  Gas industry eventually leaves.  The area returns to its original condition or worse.

Will Bradford County experience this boom/bust cycle in the future?

Read the full article here.

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