Corporate Responsibility Report 2017-2018
- Health and Safety
SWN’s operations bring significant direct and indirect economic benefits to communities. Our operations create jobs with higher-than-average wages, we make direct payments to local landowners through mineral leases and royalty payments, and we support government services and schools through property taxes, income taxes, severance fees, road impact fees and other direct payments. While low natural gas prices have changed the pace of our drilling activities in some of our operating areas, we remain committed to making long-term, positive economic contributions in the communities where we operate.
The taxes and fees SWN pays are used to support local schools and pay for community projects, including water and sewer infrastructure, emergency preparedness and public safety, affordable housing and tax reductions.
In West Virginia, for example, approximately 70 percent of the property taxes from our operations go to local schools. A portion of the taxes and fees we pay are used for road projects, which support our operations. In Pennsylvania, for example, a unique impact fee is assessed on unconventional wells; the fees are used to offset the statewide impact of drilling and to fund the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides grants to Pennsylvania counties for highway, road and bridge improvements, environmental stewardship, water and storm water systems and emergency response. We also make significant direct contributions to schools, nonprofits and community groups through our charitable giving.
SWN’s operations have also brought indirect economic benefits by stimulating job growth in industries that support natural gas production, as well as in the broader community.
Hiring locally is good for our communities and our company. It creates well-paying jobs for residents and ensures employees have a local perspective on community needs and concerns. When we enter a new area, helping to develop a local workforce is a key element of our community engagement efforts. In West Virginia, for example, we’ve been actively recruiting local employees as our operations there expand. In Pennsylvania, SWN personnel work with local workforce development organizations to share insights on workforce and industry needs and support the recruitment of local employees and service providers.
To expand the local pools of qualified candidates, we develop and sponsor programs that generate interest in the oil and gas industry and provide educational opportunities for those who wish to pursue careers in the industry.
SWN has supported and helped to develop petroleum technology training programs in all of our primary operating areas.
SWN also supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the middle- and high-school levels, which helps expand students’ opportunities and employability no matter what careers they pursue.