What They Are Saying About Safe, Job-Creating American Natural Gas Production

Pittsburgh, PA. ­– More jobs, a stronger competitive edge for America in the global economy, and strengthened national energy security. These are among the many clear and undeniable benefits associated with the responsible development of clean-burning American natural gas, which is Powering an American Renaissance. And here’s what they’re saying:

BROAD-BASED ECONOMIC BENEFITS TIED TO NATURAL GAS

  • Natural Gas “a Game-Changer for U.S. Economy”: As much as the discovery of massive stores of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation has already started transforming the state’s economy and landscape, it also has the potential to fundamentally change the nation’s role in the energy security conversation. … Today, natural gas provides about a quarter of the electricity in the United States and heats about 60 million American homes. If geologists and scientists are right about the large amount of natural gas in the United States and Canada, the energy source will likely become a much bigger part of the mix around the globe, especially since its price has dropped so drastically because of heightened production. “It’s all happened very quickly—a decade ago natural gas was considered almost a boutique fuel,” says Katie Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “Now it’s a world-class resource.” All of these new opportunities are thanks in part to the landmark discovery of geologist Bill Zagorski, the vice president of geology at Range Resources and the “Father of the Marcellus.” (US News & World Report, 1/3/13)
  • “Shale-Gas Revolution Spurs Wave of New U.S. Steel Plants”: The U.S. shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry. … “The shale revolution is triggering an avalanche of industrial expansion plans,” Barclays’ Pehlivanova and Wang said. There’s been a reversal of fortune for U.S. chemical producers after years of decline. … “Other companies from around the world that consume gas may be attracted to move their facilities to the U.S. market, which would then provide even more steel consumption and manufacturing capacity,” said Macquarie’s Mazzaferro. “It could result in a re-industrialization of the U.S.” (Bloomberg News, 12/31/12)
  • “Marcellus Natural Gas Production Expanded [Again] in 2012”: According to the federal energy reports Marcellus wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia now produce 7 billion cubic feet of gas per day. That’s about 25 percent of all shale gas production nationwide, and nearly double the Marcellus production of the previous year. The Marcellus could contain “almost half of the current proven natural gas reserves in the U.S,” a report from Standard & Poor’s said, while other experts noted the powerful combination of resource, cost and location is altering natural gas prices and market trends across the nation. In other words, natural gas that used to come all the way from the Gulf Coast or Canada to feed the power-hungry Northeast is now coming from Marcellus producers. (Associated Press, 12/26/12)
  • MSC Member Cabot Oil and Gas Gives CBS Firsthand Look at the Mighty Marcellus: [CBS News] toured a new shale gas well with George Stark, who represents Cabot Oil and Gas, the second largest gas producer in the Marcellus. “Typically we’re pulling in, in an average day, almost three-quarters of a billion cubic feet of natural gas,” Stark said. “It’s going to heat homes. It’s going to fuel our vehicles. It’s going to create electricity.” (CBS News, 12/30/12)
  • Wilbur Ross: “Shale Could Transform U.S. Economy”: “I think it’s the one thing that could transform the economy. … All it needs is the federal people not to over-regulate and let it flourish.” … “Shale gas, if left to flourish, could create several hundred thousand more jobs.” It could also pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy by reducing dependency on imports from the Middle East and elsewhere by perhaps 4.5 million barrels a day, Ross said. “Think about the implication of that. That’s $450 million a day less negative balance of payments for the U.S. It could be huge.” (Money News, 12/27/12)
  • Top Energy Expert: “Natural Gas an Answer to our Prayers”: I call it the president’s secret weapon because this [hydraulic fracturing] revolution is going to give the ability to the U.S. to be energy independent. It has the possibility of creating millions upon millions of jobs for the next 10 to 30 years. What is going to drive us in this next decade? What is going to create good, high-paying jobs? Really fracking and natural gas have been an answer to our prayers, so hopefully we’re going to embrace it and move in that direction. (Boston Globe, 12/30/12)
  • Natural Gas “Helps Cut Costs for Goods Made in America”: [Shale gas development] is making the U.S. a highly desirable location for manufacturers relying on gas for energy and as a component in plastics, chemicals and other essential materials. … The boom in gas and unconventional oil extraction may generate a significant number of new jobs,” said Dieter Ernst, an economist with the East-West Center. … A report from the National Intelligence Council this month said that the lower gas and oil prices in the U.S. brought on by the shale boom would have “significant positive ripple effects” for the U.S. economy, possibly increasing jobs in extraction and manufacturing industries by as much as 3 million by 2030, while helping to “significantly reduce” the trade deficit. “The most important domestic energy development in the last 50 years is poised to reshape American manufacturing,” said Kevin Swift, chief economist of the American Chemistry Council. (Washington Times, 12/25/12)
  • MSC Member Noble Energy to Expand in Pittsburgh to Support Marcellus Growth: Houston-based oil and gas firm Noble Energy Inc. is expanding in the Pittsburgh area to support its growing Marcellus operations. … Sources familiar with the plan said the company is seeking a 100,000-square-foot office space, with an expansion option for an additional 50,000 square feet. A 100,000-square-foot office could accommodate about 400 employees. (Houston Business Journal, 12/31/12)
  • Natural Gas “Ignites Growth, Helps Attract New Businesses to Region”: Thanks to falling natural gas prices, some area officials think we could see even more growth in manufacturing. “We definitely have a lot more interest” in natural gas from customers, said National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella. … Cheap natural gas also is putting downward pressure on electricity prices, as natural-gas fired power plants produce a greater share of the electricity. Among those seeing the greatest benefit are companies in the plastics and chemical businesses. (Albany Times Union, 12/29/12)
  • Marcellus Shale Industry Marks its Presence in Lawrence Co.: As shale drilling continues in Lawrence County, plans are materializing for a gas-powered electric plant in North Beaver Township. The announcement of LS Power to build a $750-million plant in North Beaver Township was welcome news Lawrence County officials this year. … LS plans to fuel its plant with natural gas drawn from a nearby Tennessee gas pipeline and will use shale gas being drilled on local properties. Its goal is to begin operations in 2016 or 2017. Shale drilling got under way in the county this year with operations in New Beaver Borough and Pulaski and North Beaver townships. (New Castle News, 1/2/12)
  • “Natural Gas Boom Hits Region in Full Force”: Earlier this month, county officials said income from the natural gas boom will be needed to avoid a property tax increase for 2014. … The Marcellus shale boom has already had an impact on the local economy, and that impact could increase going forward. … This year, Shell selected Beaver County as the location for a natural gas refinery, also called a “cracker” plant. The development stands to draw thousands of jobs to the region. In Lawrence County, an electric company opted to place a natural gas generation station in North Beaver Township. (Ellwood City Ledger, 12/25/12)
  • “Study: More Drilling Prosperity Ahead for Northeast Pennsylvania”: A new report issued this week by the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, centered at Wilkes University, says Marcellus Shale activity is the “prime factor” for recent economic growth in Northeast Pennsylvania. … [The study] predicts more population and economic growth in Northeast Pennsylvania as a result of natural gas production. (StateImpactPA, 12/21/12)

LEVERAGING NATURAL GAS: A CLEANER, CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE

  • Williamsport Unveils Natural Gas-Powered Transit Bus: Those who depend on bus transit to get around Williamsport and Lycoming County can now ride on a bus that is powered by compressed natural gas. “This is really awesome,” said Carl Eiswerth, of Old Lycoming Township, a daily rider of River Valley Transit buses at the unveiling Friday afternoon of the first compressed natural gas bus in city history. … “This is a momentous occasion,” said William E. Nichols Jr., general manager of River Valley Transit. … Nichols said he anticipated River Valley Transit will save $500,000 a year in fuel cost annually by using the buses. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 1/1/13)
  • Natural Gas to Power Staten Island ferry: A pilot program conducted on one Staten Island Ferry, if successful, could save the city nearly half the boat’s fueling cost annually. An unspecified Austen Class ferry will be converted from using ultra-low-sulfur diesel to liquefied natural gas (LNG) during a routine dry docking next year, the city Department of Transportation said. In addition to the 50 percent savings on fuel, LNG is also expected to cut harmful carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent while not impacting the current level of service, a spokeswoman for the DOT said. … “Converting the Staten Island Ferry to liquefied natural gas is a win-win-win: It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, lower operating costs and help the environment,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. (Staten Island Advance, 12/31/12)
  • “Drillers Shift to Use of Natural Gas”: Energy companies that want Americans to embrace the use of inexpensive natural gas are beginning to lead by example. The three biggest providers of oil-field services in North America—Schlumberger Ltd., Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc.—are spending millions of dollars to retrofit pumps and drilling-rig engines to run on natural gas. … Converting to natural-gas-powered equipment has also become more feasible, now that manufacturers such as Caterpillar Inc. have devised better technology to run heavy equipment with the fuel. … Chad Peterson, a vice president in Schlumberger’s pumping division, said that all of the company’s new pumps would be able to run on natural gas. … Chesapeake Energy is converting equipment as diverse as pickups, heavy-duty trucks, drilling rigs and fracking pumps to run on natural gas. (Wall Street Journal, 12/25/12
  • Lancaster Co. Agency Converts Fleet to CNG: The local waste authority soon will be using trash trucks that run on a new kind of fuel: compressed natural gas. And the authority is anticipating that local municipalities also may be interested in the fuel — already being used in other areas by companies including UPS and Waste Management — for their police cars, trucks or other vehicles. So in addition to converting its fleet, the authority is building the county’s first compressed natural gas filling station, where other vehicles could access the fuel. … “They come here, they can refuel here, it’s cleaner and quieter in the neighborhood and better air quality in the county,” said Jim Warner, authority CEO. (Lancaster New Era, 12/21/12)

EXPERTS, OPINION PAGES TOUT AMERICAN NATURAL GAS

  • Wall Street Journal Urges NY to Move Forward with Safe Marcellus Development: Last year the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a remarkable fact: Overall U.S. carbon dioxide emissions—the majority of which come from electricity generation—had fallen to their lowest level in 20 years, some 14% off the peak in 2007. There are upwards of 50 million more energy consumers in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago, so the achievement is all the more impressive. … U.S. emissions are lower because utilities have responded to the market incentive of cheaper natural gas. Mr. Cuomo is surely aware of all this. For now the Governor’s political read looks to be that New York’s upstate economy can sit hostage to the antigrowth energy agenda of wealthy downstate environmentalists. (Wall Street Journal editorial, 1/2/13)
  • William Bennett: “A Monumental Energy Revolution is Under Way in this Country”: From 2008 to 2011, natural gas production in the U.S. has risen a staggering 10%, according to a recent report from the International Energy Agency. The U.S. EIA predicts U.S. natural gas production will increase 44% by 2040, thanks in large part to increased shale gas production made available by hydraulic fracturing. The energy boom is bringing jobs and increased tax revenues back to rural America. … A monumental energy revolution is under way in this country. (CNN.com op-ed, 1/2/13)
  • Natural Gas Industry “Will Have a Major Economic Impact on our Region for a Long Time”: Shell Oil is in the process of buying the Pennsylvania College of Technology’s North Campus building in Charleston Township, Tioga Co. The building will be turned into offices for about 100 people moving from Shell’s other locations around the county. … Many of the country’s largest energy organizations have a presence in the region. They’ve set the table in recent years for energy production that will span generations, not years. … The industry will have a major economic impact on our region for a long time. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette editorial, 12/18/12)
  • Columbia Law Prof. and Dean: Natural Gas Holds “Enormous Benefits for our Economy, Security, and Environment”: If regulated effectively, fracking can contribute enormously to U.S. growth and energy independence while combating climate change. … [Shale gas] has enhanced consumer purchasing power and triggered a manufacturing boom. Recent studies indicate that fracking has added 1.7 million American jobs and 0.5 percent in annual GDP growth. In addition, since many of the nations that produce oil and gas are unstable or hostile to America, it is better to be less dependent on them. Natural gas also burns more cleanly than other carbon-based fuels. The U.S. has dramatically reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions over the past five years – more than any other country. (Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed, 1/3/13
  • “Geopolitically, the Shale Revolution Strengthens the United States”: The shale energy revolution is likely to shift the tectonic plates of global power in ways that are largely beneficial to the West and reinforce U.S. power and influence during the first half of this century. … The incentives to develop shale oil and natural gas are very great. But so far, the United States has only experienced the first stage of low natural-gas prices and the re-importation of energy intensive industries such as chemicals and steel because of low gas prices. … More broadly, the shale revolution will grant the United States a greater range of options in dealing with foreign states. … Geopolitically, the shale revolution strengthens the United States. (New York Times op-ed, 12/26/12)
  • “Natural Gas Growth Marcellus Shale Projections Encouraging”: Just imagine what 29,000 new jobs, and ultimately 59,000 new jobs, could mean not only for West Virginia, but America. And just imagine what this emerging industry could do in terms of meeting America’s future energy needs. We must be willing to embrace this emerging industry. The vast Marcellus shale field offers not only great potential to West Virginia, but our nation as a whole. The industry should be allowed to grow and prosper. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph editorial, 1/2/13)
  • Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson: “Don’t Kill the Shale Gas Boom”: Since 2000, U.S. natural gas production has risen by a quarter, with the increase coming mostly from shale gas. From 2000 to 2012, its share of production zoomed from less than 2 percent to 34 percent. By 2040, the Energy Information Administration, the source of these figures, expects overall gas production to increase by nearly 40 percent. The share of shale gas would rise to about half. By one study, the gas boom has created nearly 500,000 jobs for producers and their suppliers. Surging output has reduced wellhead prices more than half from stratospheric 2008 levels. In 2012, residential gas bills are down 21 percent from 2008. … Low prices are promoting investment by energy-intensive firms. … Greenhouse gas emissions have also been curbed because natural gas. (Washington Post op-ed, 12/23/12)
  • Hydraulic Fracturing is a Safe Technology, Helping to Create Thousands of Jobs: Shale formations in which fracking is employed are thousands of feet deep. Drinking water aquifers are generally only 100 feet deep. There is a lot of solid rock between them. … Fracking was invented in 1947 and has been safely used ever since. In extracting natural gas from shale it stands to vastly increase the supply of natural gas and could generate $332 billion in additional GDP and create 2.4 million jobs by 2035, according to estimates from IHS Global Insight. (Investor’s Business Daily editorial, 12/21/12)