Bipartisan Policy Center, American Clean Skies Foundation Report Emphasizes Imperative to Safely Leverage U.S. Natural Gas

Report: American natural gas a “winning proposition for consumers, America’s economy, the environment, our nation’s energy security”

Canonsburg, Pa. –  A jointly sponsored Bipartisan Policy Center and American Clean Skies Foundation report released today touts the unprecedented potential of American natural gas to dramatically bolster domestic supplies, reduce carbon emissions and improve national energy security. The 76 page report, entitled “Task Force On Ensuring Stable Natural Gas Markets,” was crafted through the work of a broad Task Force made up of “industry participants and experts, including industrial consumers, electric utilities, independent and integrated gas producers, chemical companies, public utility regulators, environmental experts, financial analysts and consumer advocates.”

Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), issued this statement regarding the report’s findings:

“The hard work over the past year by so many involved in this undertaking was incredibly worthwhile. Having such strong and independent voices clearly lay out the fact that the responsible development of our abundant natural gas resources is ‘a winning proposition for consumers, for America’s economy, the environment, and our nation’s energy security’ is positive news by any measure. And with so much uncertainty throughout the economy, including the global energy landscape, these findings only strengthen the fact that America’s clean-burning natural gas resources will play an increasingly critical role in meeting our future energy challenges.”

Key report excerpts:

  • The United States recently became the world’s largest natural gas producer. … Technology advances combined with new shale gas discoveries have more than tripled estimates of the nation’s economically recoverable natural gas resources. … Expanding our use of this comparatively clean–burning, domestic fuel in an efficient manner is a winning proposition for consumers, for America’s economy and industrial competitiveness, for the environment, and for our nation’s energy security.
  • The Marcellus shale, extending from Virginia in the south to New York to the north, is the largest shale resource, conservatively estimated to be approximately 700 Tcf.”
  • Government policy at the federal, state and municipal level should encourage and facilitate the development of domestic natural gas resources.”
  • Policies that discourage the development of domestic natural gas resources” will cause “adverse effects on the stability of natural gas prices and investment decisions by energy-intensive manufacturers.”
  • The efficient use of natural gas has the potential to reduce harmful air emissions, improve energy security, and increase operating rates and levels of capital investment in energy-intensive industries.”
  • ICF International, Inc. recently estimated that almost 1,500 Tcf of shale gas can be produced at prices below $8 per million Btu (MMBtu). By comparison, annual U.S. consumption of natural gas currently totals approximately 22 Tcf.”
  • At a time when political and economic conditions have paralyzed much of the national-level energy policy debate, the fact that a group as diverse as the Task Force could reach consensus on these measures suggests that here is at least one important area—natural gas markets—where progress is well within reach.”

NOTE: Click HERE to view this study online.