Drexel LeBow’s School of Economics and Econsult Solutions Inc. completed its first collaborative research project: an economic impact report and analysis completed for the proposed PennEast Pipeline.
PennEast pipeline, a potential project sponsored by all four gas utility companies in New Jersey, would link Luzerne County, Pa., to parts of Hunterdon and Mercer counties in New Jersey via a 36-inch-wide, 110-mile-long pipe. Proponents of the project say it will increase economic activity and lower the cost of energy.
In sum, the report’s findings state:
“In Pennsylvania and New Jersey combined, the design and construction is estimated to generate an approximate $1.62 billion in one-time total economic impact, supporting about 12,160 jobs with $740 million in wages. … the ongoing operations of the project are estimated to generate annually an approximate $23 million in total economic impact, supporting 98 jobs with $8.3 million in wages.”
The Drexel-Econsult team was comprised of Vibhas Madan, director of the School of Economics; Paul Jensen, associate dean for graduate studies; and Steve Mullin and Andrea Mannino of Econsult (Mullin is also an adjunct economics instructor at LeBow). MS economics student Braden Picardi, who has worked as a research assistant in the past, was selected to assist the team with evaluating the potential impact of the increased supply of natural gas on energy prices, and assess consequent benefit for users such as residential and business consumers. Madan says Picardi used econometric techniques he’s been studying in the program to frame his analysis.
“This project was a nice way to bring the expertise of the two groups together and apply it to analyzing the economic impact of an important infrastructure investment and its impact on energy markets in the Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey region,” Madan says.
As the School of Economics’ first corporate partner, Econsult contributes to Drexel’s tradition of experiential learning, academic excellence and participation in real-world problem solving.