WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- The economic impact of increased U.S. oil and gas output has spread beyond states hosting shale reserve areas, the vice chairman of consultant group IHS said.
Members of the U.S. Senate's Joint Economic Committee heard testimony Tuesday about the economic impact of the increase in U.S. oil and natural gas production from shale reserve areas like the Bakken play in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford shale area in Texas.
"When it comes to unconventional activity, a state does not need to have a major unconventional play within its geographic boundaries to benefit economically from the activity," he testified.
He said more than 25 percent of the jobs associated with shale oil and gas are found in states that don't have any appreciable shale resources, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Elgie Holstein, a director of strategic planning for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the balance between economic benefits and environment setbacks is critical.
Critics of shale development say emissions from the industry and some of the chemicals involved in drilling processes are an environmental threat.