FROSTBURG, Md. (AP) -- Towson University researchers say far western Maryland would see a predictable employment boom and bust if hydraulic fracturing for natural gas is allowed in the region.
The leader of the school's Regional Economic Studies Institute also told a state panel Friday in Frostburg that the impact of gas drilling on the region's tourism industry isn't clear.
Daraius Irani says the number of drilling-related jobs in Garrett and Allegany counties could exceed 3,000 by 2019 if gas drilling begins in 2017. He says employment could peak around 3,600 in 2021, and then drop off sharply after 2025.
Irani says virtually every study done elsewhere on the tourism impact of drilling was conducted during the recession. He says his team couldn't attribute any negative tourism effects to gas drilling alone.
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