What They’re Saying: Marcellus Shale “a Game-Changer on a Global Scale”

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The clear, undeniable economic, environmental and energy security benefits associated with the safe development of clean-burning natural gas continue to be realized across Appalachia, the United States and as well as overseas. Here’s what they’re saying about the responsible development of job-creating shale gas, which is Powering an American Renaissance:

NATURAL GAS = JOB CREATION, ENERGY SECURITY

  • Public Support for Natural Gas Development Continues to Build: Two new surveys show that a significant percentage of people support drilling in portions of New York and that Pennsylvania residents who live amid heavy drilling think the benefits outweigh the risks. … Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, noted that New York residents use large quantities of gas that comes from fracked wells in other states. She noted that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said expanded natural gas use “makes good economic and environmental sense.” Patrick Henderson, Pennsylvania’s energy executive in the governor’s office, said the Siena College poll shows that New Yorkers “see in Pennsylvania and other states the ability to develop this resource responsibly while protecting the environment.” (Associated Press, 12/10/12)
  • “Shale Gas Keeps Philadelphia Region’s Electric Costs Down”: Shale gas has become a game-changer for electric companies in the Northeast. This is good news for Philadelphia. … The increase in the availability of natural gas is owing to the more-effective use of hydraulic fracturing in conjunction with horizontal drilling. Over the four-year period ending 2010, natural-gas production in the US rose by roughly 20% according to the US Energy Information Administration and most of the increase was due to shale-gas extraction. … The consumer should continue to benefit from lower natural gas in the near term. In Pennsylvania, the average utility customer’s bill in August 2012 was 2% lower than the same month is 2011. (Philadelphia Public Record, 12/6/12)
  • Natural Gas: Powering Pa.’s Economy: Rural Pennsylvania has an ocean of natural gas below ground and will soon have electricity produced at the surface. Inexpensive, available fuel begets power plants. The exploitation of gas a mile below the surface in the Marcellus Shale rock formation has attracted power generation companies proposing natural gas-fired power plants, each at a cost of hundreds of million of dollars. … Anthony Ventello, executive director of the Progress Authority, a regional economic development agency, said the power plant will have a significant economic impact much like a manufacturing facility, which supports spin-off jobs. … “If we can create a permanent market for natural gas and add value to it by turning it into electricity or using it make some other product, we can stabilize the economy.” (Times-Tribune, 12/9/12)
  • Pa.’s Geisinger Health System “Considers Natural Gas Stations”: A Geisinger Health System administrator says the company is studying the potential for a business partnership to create a natural gas fueling station. Al Neuner, vice president of facilities operations, said…that the review is part of a continuing evaluation of a state grant program providing incentives for using natural gas to fuel fleet vehicles like large trucks and, in Geisinger’s case, shuttle buses. … Diesel averaged $4.02 a gallon this week, and regular unleaded gasoline $3.39 a gallon, a federal agency reported. That’s compared to the $2.16 average for the equivalent of one gallon of compressed natural gas, according to an industry website. (The News-Item, 12/9/12)
  • “Report: W.Va. Sees Shale Job Growth”: Those working in West Virginia’s oil and natural gas fields have seen their annual salaries grow by an average of $8,100 since 2008, thanks to the Marcellus Shale rush. A new report from WorkForce West Virginia also shows that since the Marcellus activity began ramping up in 2008, another 916 state workers were directly employed by the oil and natural gas extraction business. … “The overall effect on specific industries in West Virginia due to activity within the Marcellus Shale is becoming more evident,” the report states. … In addition to these jobs counted by WorkForce, the presence of the drilling industry does lead to increased employment in certain areas, as restaurant and hotel owners report being very busy these days because of drillers working in the area. … New businesses to service the oil and gas industry also continue popping up. (Wheeling-Intelligencer, 12/6/12)
  • Gov. Tomblin: Responsible Marcellus Development “Brings a Great Economic Boost to the State”: Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was also at the [MarkWest] plant Thursday. He said plants like this will not only help further gas development in West Virginia but also boost the local economy and provide more jobs. “This is the first phase with the opening of this processing plant,” Tomblin said. “There have been hundreds of workers in the construction. There will be at least 20 full time jobs here. It brings a great economic boost to the state, and this one in particular to Doddridge County.” (WBOY-TV, 12/7/12)

OPINION PAGES TOUT NATURAL GAS

  • Marcellus Shale “a Game-Changer on a Global Scale”: Thanks to new drilling technologies and the promise of a low-cost, cleaner form of energy, Marcellus gas promises to be a game-changer on a global scale in terms of both energy production and manufacturing jobs. … MarkWest Energy Partners dedicated its first gas processing center in Doddridge County — with six more under construction statewide. … In 2013, MarkWest will add six more processing facilities in West Virginia. … MarkWest currently employs about 75 people in West Virginia. Each processing plant will add about 20-30 permanent jobs. … It looks like development of the Marcellus Shale gas fields could be the catalyst to take us to the next level and provide the state with a very, very bright future. (Exponent-Telegraph editorial, 12/8/12)

  • “W.Va. Has Opportunity With Natural Gas Vehicles”: More than 100,000 natural gas vehicles are currently on the road across the United States — and millions more are being utilized around the world. … With fewer emissions than traditional fuels and lower costs, the choice for transportation and heavy truck uses that refuel at the same station every night is clear. … Instead of sending almost half a trillion dollars to foreign countries, we can help turn around our own economy by investing in a fuel that literally comes from beneath our own mountains. (Charleston Gazette op-ed, 12/10/12)

  • American Natural Gas Adds “Significant Economic Benefits”: Americans will pay much less than most foreigners for natural gas, giving domestic businesses a competitive advantage. …. Not only does cheap U.S. natural gas hold the possibility of significant economic benefits, it is also already making a positive difference for the environment. (Washington Post editorial, 12/7/12)
  • Shale Gas Leads to “a Plunge In U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions”: One of the primary factors for much of the [CO2 emissions] improvement in the U.S. environmental picture includes the shale gas revolution. The benefits of the shale gas explosion include the newfound abundant supply which will provide more than enough natural gas to meet U.S domestic consumption needs and provide an expectation for relatively low natural gas prices in the future. (Forbes.com op-ed, 12/7/12)
  • London Mayor: Natural Gas is “Green, Cheap and Plentiful”: The extraction of shale gas…seems an answer to the nation’s prayers. … By offering the hope of cheap electricity, fracking would make Britain once again competitive in sectors of industry – bauxite smelting springs to mind – where we have lost hope. The extraction process alone would generate tens of thousands of jobs in parts of the country that desperately need them. And above all, the burning of gas to generate electricity is much, much cleaner. … As a result of the use of gas, the Americans have cut their CO2 emissions to levels not seen since the Nineties, in spite of a growing population. (The Telegraph op-ed, 12/9/12)
  • “Fracking Can Boost NY’s Economy, Add to Region’s Job Base”: Hopefully, New York will make finalize its extensive environmental and health reviews of the drilling process and start issuing permits for wells utilizing high-volume hydraulic fracturing soon. Since 2008, gas companies have established several regional centers in Pennsylvania: Halliburton in Williamsport, Shell in Mansfield and Chesapeake in Sayre. The Southern Tier needs population growth now. The Southern Tier needs jobs now. (Star-Gazette op-ed, 12/10/12)

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