This story in Bloomberg is worth a read. The economic potential of shale gas to have a bigger economic impact is there. For the most part of its history, the Horn River News has focused on the potential of shale gas to reduce carbon emissions, and decrease US dependency on suppliers that are in conflict with with US interests.
Given the flat US economy we are seeing increasing interest opportunity in the shale gas industry as a positive contributor to the US economy. Here in British Columbia, Canada, hundreds of millions of dollars were invested into shale gas infrastructure, gas pipelines, roads, etc. All creating valuable jobs for BC.
UPDATE: Business Week: Could the Shale Gas Industry Reignite the U.S. Economy?