Aqua America Chairman to Students: Marcellus Shale Offers Promise for Jobs
and the Economic Future of Pennsylvania
BRYN MAWR, Pa. -- November 02, 2012
Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) Chairman and CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis told a
group of Drexel University students that the natural gas industry will become
the biggest economic driver in Pennsylvania since the heydays of coal and
steel, and that along with it will come a bounty of energy careers and jobs.
His remarks were made today at the 2012 Energy/Utility Forum sponsored by the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and Drexel University, the latter of
which hosted the forum. DeBenedictis spoke as a member of the Marcellus Shale
Natural Gas Industry and Opportunities panel.
“Pennsylvania is literally sitting on massive amounts of natural gas. If
managed correctly, we have the opportunity to renew the energy industry in the
Commonwealth and provide clean-burning, environmentally friendly fuel that can
play a significant role in reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,”
said DeBenedictis, whose company has made a commitment to turning over much of
its vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG).
DeBenedictis said he is very impressed with the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection’s work in creating regulations and an enforcement
team to ensure that the Marcellus Shale industry is managed correctly. “When
it comes to the environment, you don’t get many second chances. Today, we have
the opportunity to show the world how to use this land in a way that is good
for people, the economy and the earth, unlike a century or more ago when many
coal companies grabbed the coal and left the land in worse shape than they
He told the mostly engineering, science and information technology students
that they are the world’s next innovative thinkers, researchers, inventors and
environmentalists and that their “energy” would be needed to help renewing
Pennsylvania’s reputation as one of the most energy-rich states in the nation.
“I believe the natural gas industry, and the Marcellus Shale specifically,
offers you and your peers one of the most bountiful career tracks there are,
and will be, over the next decade or more.”
Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities
and serves almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina,
Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, and Georgia. Aqua
America is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WTR.
Aqua America, Inc.
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