By Ben Wolfgang
The Washington Times
May 22, 2011
WASHINGTON, Pa. — Earlier this year, Phillip Whalen packed his bags, left his home in Louisiana and set up shop in western Pennsylvania.
The 15-year oil and gas industry veteran said work has dried up around the Gulf of Mexico, in part because of the fallout from the BP PLC oil spill last year. In what has become a kind of reverse national oil rush, Mr. Whalen said, his motivation for heading north to this small community 20 miles south of Pittsburgh was simple.
“I’m doing what I have to do to keep a roof over the head and pay the bills,” the grizzled family man said early one morning. He was dressed in a blue jumpsuit and was smoking a last cigarette outside his hotel before heading off to work.
His company, T3 Energy Services, sent him to Washington, the economic epicenter for exploiting what many think is the nation’s path away from dangerous dependence on foreign oil.