These headlines are stunning: Natural gas is getting America Working Again with more affordable energy for residential and business users and with the jobs created by energy development.
The White House: “A Boom in Natural Gas Production has Supported Manufacturing”: The surge in domestic natural gas production can lower energy costs, reduce pollution and drive investment in the industries that supply equipment the natural gas sector and those that use natural gas as an input to production, like the chemical industry. … The discovery of new natural gas reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale, has led to rapidly growing domestic production and relatively low domestic prices for households and downstream industrial users. Appropriate care must to be taken to ensure that America’s natural resources are extracted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner with the safeguards in place to protect public health and safety. Provided these precautions are taken, the potential benefits to the U.S. economy are substantial. (WhiteHouse.gov, 1/12)
“Obama Discovers Natural Gas” (Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 1/17/12)
White House Jobs Council Endorses “Responsible Development” of Job-Creating Natural Gas:“The Jobs Council recommends expanding and expediting the domestic production of fossil fuels – including allowing more access to oil, gas, and coal opportunities on federal lands – while ensuring safe and responsible development of those sites,” the report said. (Reuters, 1/17/12)
American Natural Gas “Helps Families, Businesses” and “A Whole Slice of American Industry” (Associated Press, 1/16/12)
Hamilton College Ph.D. Calls for a Balanced, Fact-Based Dialogue. In New York state alone, we consume in excess of 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year. (Observer-Dispatch, Op-Ed, 1/15/12)
Thanks to Shale Gas, “Electricity Declines 50%” for US Consumers: A shale-driven glut of natural gas has cut electricity prices for the U.S. power industry by 50 percent and reduced investment in costlier sources of energy. (Zanesville Times Recorder, 1/15/12)
Marcellus Development Creating the “the Industrial Rebirth this Region so Desperately Needs”: Residential gas prices are dropping as a result of abundant supply; two regional gas companies recently cut 2012 consumer prices. (Tribune-Review, Op-Ed, 1/15/12)
“Carrollton is a small village, and job growth is every day now. It’s something we’ve never dreamed of.” (Coshocton Tribune, 1/15/12)
“America is Poised to be the World’s New Energy Leader, Let’s Vow to Claim This Crown” A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that aggressive, domestic shale-gas development could employ approximately one million more manufacturing-sector workers by 2025, thanks to increased product demand. The study also found increased production could help U.S. manufacturers reduce natural gas expenses by as much as $11.6 billion annually through the same year. What’s more, shale gas’ contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was more than $76.9 billion in 2010. In 2015 it will be $118.2 billion; in 2035, $231.1 billion. (FoxNews.com, Bob Beauprez, 1/17/12)
Beaver County and Western Pennsylvania could be big winners if Pennsylvania beats out other states for a chemical plant, fed by natural gas, that Royal Dutch Shell plc is planning.
The plant is likely to bring thousands of jobs and more than $1 billion in investment just from Shell, which would take ethane from shale gas and reduce it to ethylene, a building block for plastics, according to a range of experts and observers. The draw is so large that Pennsylvania officials, including Gov. Tom Corbett, have been involved in a months-long, high-stakes competition with leaders in Ohio and West Virginia — all candidates to host the plant.
Shell has estimated 10,000 construction jobs, said Steve Kratz, spokesman for the Department of Community and Economic Development, which is handling negotiations for Pennsylvania.
An industry study estimated that, for every permanent plant job, a cracker plant creates another 5.5 jobs working with the products it makes, he added.
“It’s huge,” Kratz said. “You’re talking about a potential project that could lead to the potential reindustrialization of Southwest Pennsylvania. When you couple that with everything that’s going on with the technology renaissance of Pittsburgh … it would be a huge boost for the region and Pennsylvania as a whole.”