A recent Seattle Times article on the impact of Arctic drilling on the Puget Sound economy demonstrates that drilling off of Alaska’s northern coastline will create jobs not only in Alaska, but also in places far away from Alaska.
As the full-service port on the U.S. West Coast that is closest to Alaska, the Seattle/Puget Sound area of Washington State is a hub of maritime and industrial activity that has supported resource development in Alaska for more than 100 years. From constructing specialized infrastructure, to building exploration equipment, to consulting on “best practices” in Arctic development, Puget Sound businesses have long benefited from Arctic drilling operations.
In fact, a new economic study found that Alaska operations will deliver $172.7 million in economic revenue to Puget Sound alone in 2015 and 2016. According to the study, that $172.7 million will support over 1,500 jobs, provide $125 million in wages, and contribute $312 million in direct and indirect economic output. Thanks to its Northern Alaskan operations, Shell already spent $313 million directly with Puget Sound businesses and organizations from 2006 to 2014.
The economic boost the Puget Sound area has been experiencing is just one example of the economic benefits Arctic development brings to the whole country: According to reports by Northern Economics and the University of Alaska, American Arctic offshore development could create about 35,000 jobs in Alaska and 55,000 jobs nationwide – every year.