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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Natural Gas Development Crucial for New Jersey Economy, Job Growth

SBE Council chief economist Raymond Keating was in Trenton, NJ today to let the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) know that onerous regulations on natural gas development would come at a high cost to the economic welfare of New Jersey businesses and families. The DRBC held public hearings this week on pending regulations.

Keating said:

"Excessive rules and fees would amount to a de facto moratorium on natural gas development. The maze of red tape proposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission would inhibit New Jersey from taking advantage of the region's energy gold mine laying a mile beneath our feet.

"Safe development of the Marcellus Shale's vast resources through fair regulations would encourage commerce, entrepreneurship, and job growth throughout the region -- particularly good news for a state faced with a $10.5 billion budget shortfall and over 8% unemployment.

"As elected leaders, such as Governor Christie, face difficult decisions to ameliorate state financial woes, the jobs and investment available through natural gas production should come as a welcome relief."

It is important to note that on SBE Council's "Small Business Survival Index 2010: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation," which ranks the states according to their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship, New Jersey ranked 50th – or second worst – among the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Keating added: "The state's economic environment needs to improve wherever it can, including in the area of energy development."

DRBC is a federal/interstate government agency responsible for the water quality and supply of the Delaware River basin. The agency's commission is comprised of representatives from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Army Corps of Engineers. DRBC has schedule public hearings this week to hearing comments from the community regarding the agency's proposed regulations on natural gas development projects.

SBE Council Staff Post

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