Bizarrely, the author then attempts to suggest that the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been created as a result of new shale development are essentially a mirage. That would certainly be news to states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and especially North Dakota, which today boasts the lowest unemployment rate of any state in the country. Last year, nearly one out of every nine new jobs created in the entire United States came from the oil and gas sector — even though the industry only operates in about half the states. Whether Maryland decides to move forward with responsible development in its western counties will ultimately be for the state to decide. But can we at least insist that that decision be made on the basis of good, actual, demonstrable facts?