What They’re Saying About Natural Gas: “Local Resource, Providing Local Jobs, Contributing to the Local Economy”

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Every day and all over the world, new voices are joining the conversation about the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas. From job creation to growth in the transportation sector and improved national security, this historic energy renaissance continues to evolve. Here’s what they’re saying:

CREATING GOOD JOBS, BOOSTING COMMUNITIES

  • Nearly 200 More Marcellus-Related Jobs Headed to Western Pa.: A Louisiana-based hydraulic fracturing company is coming to Monessen, Westmoreland Co., potentially providing as many as 200 new local jobs. …  “We decided it was time to make the move and created a new district,” Green Field marketing director Andrew Ward said. “Monessen seems like a great place to lay down some roots. … With natural gas drilling and horizontal fracturing, this is something we can pursue and reap the benefits of for a good 20 to 30 years.” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/17/13)
  • Thanks to Marcellus Shale, Our Region’s Future is Bright: “We’re pleased to be a part of the business community that’s the envy of the nation,” Scott Roy of Range Resources said in reference to Washington County’s rise as an energy center. Roy noted that Range directly employs 300 at its Southpointe regional headquarters and another 5,000 through its subcontractors, and in 2012, returned $4.7 million in impact fees to the county and its municipalities. But Roy said regulations will play a critical role in determining the country’s energy future. Bob Ovitz, senior operations for Noble Energy’s Marcellus business unit, noted that his company, which is in a joint venture with Consol Energy Inc., said the company has invested $200 million with 240 vendors in the Marcellus Shale. “The Marcellus Shale is a world-class resource, and the future is bright,” Ovitz said. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 6/18/13)
  • Training a Strong, Local Workforce: Fifteen people graduated from the Floor Hand Training Program at Penn State DuBois on June 7, armed with new knowledge and certifications that qualify them for a wide range of jobs in the natural gas industry. … Even people who already have experience in the industry say that such training can make a difference for them. Richard Irvin, of Reynoldsville, and Anthony Kurtz, of Brockway, are two such people. … “I wanted to get more experience in the gas industry and get on a drilling rig. Money is the all-controlling factor in the world, and rigs pay well. It’s hard work, but that’s what I enjoy,” Kurtz said. (PSU release, 6/14/13)
  • “Steelmakers Reap Benefits From U.S. Shale Gas Revolution”: Amid the industrial ruins of the Mahoning river valley in eastern Ohio, a decrepit stretch that was once one of the great steelmaking centers of the world, the huge new Vallourec Star pipe mill looks like a spaceship from some more advanced civilization. Its fresh paint gleaming in the sunshine, the plant is a symbol of a brighter future for the region, and for the U.S. steel industry. The North American shale boom…has created a surge in demand for steel tubes to use for drills, well casing, pipelines and other equipment. Vallourec, a French company that specializes in tubes for the oil and gas industry, has spent $1.05bn on the plant. It is the largest investment in the region’s industry since the 1920s. “Shale gas is a revolution,” says Philippe Crouzet, Vallourec’s chairman, at the plant’s inauguration last week. “It changes the global map of gas completely.” … The plants are the most visible sign of what Tom Gibson, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute, an industry body, describes as the “transformational” impact of shale.  (Financial Times, 6/18/13)
  • Wash. Co. Commissioners: Marcellus Shale Provides “Great Benefits to the Community”: According to Commissioner [Harlan] Shober, impact fees for Washington Country will provide great benefits to the community. “I think it’s a tremendous boost to Washington County right now. Not only do we have money going into things that have needed money for a long time, but I think we’re planning for the future,” said Shober. Commissioner Vaughan is satisfied with the dollars that are being collected and what they are going towards. “I’m very pleased with the amount of money we’re receiving. Washington County has already received $4.2 million with the impact fees,” said Vaughan. Some of the impact fees have gone towards repairing bridges, roof replacements in the elections office, and they have also helped nursing homes. (KDKA Radio, 6/18/13)
  • XTO Opens Butler Co. Processing Facility, Will Create Local Jobs: ExxonMobil, through its subsidiary XTO Energy Inc., is starting up a facility in Butler County to recover the valuable natural gas liquids that are coming out as part the company’s drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale. The 340-acre facility includes 40 miles of connecting pipeline and two gas compressor stations to feed the gas into the facility, which is designed to treat roughly 125 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. … “This facility will add value to XTO and Butler County,” Tim McIlwain, senior vice president, production operations for XTO, said in a written statement. “It allows valuable liquids to be separated from natural gas and provides economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania.” The Butler processing facility is expected to have 15 full-time employees, the company said. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 6/18/13)
  • FTS, Cabot Power Hydraulic Fracturing Equipment With Natural Gas: Recently, FTS International and Cabot Oil & Gas successfully partnered to use natural gas from a producing gas well to power pressure pumping equipment for a fracturing treatment. This marked the first time FTSI and COG used field gas for this purpose and this was done in northern Pennsylvania. The process of using clean-burning natural gas can displace up to 70 percent of the diesel fuel traditionally used to operate pumping equipment for fracturing. … FTSI CEO Greg Lanham said, “This is a terrific example of the oil and gas industry working together to develop and implement innovative technologies that are both environmentally conscious and operationally efficient.” … Cabot is continually searching for ways to utilize cutting-edge technology during our operations, explained Dan Dinges, Chairman, President and CEO for Cabot. “We are already converting our vehicle fleet to run on natural gas and currently have a drilling rig using CNG as well, so the next natural step was to utilize the technology on a hydraulic fracturing site.” (Pleasanton Express, 6/19/13)
  • “Local Gas For Local People”: Work is getting started to run natural gas lines to homes, businesses, and schools in Susquehanna County. For years now, natural gas drilling has been going on all around the county but that gas was shipped elsewhere. After a groundbreaking today, people who live in the county will soon be able to use the natural gas themselves. Leatherstocking Natural Gas Company held a ceremonial groundbreaking near Montrose to mark the first time widespread natural gas service is coming to homes and businesses in Susquehanna County. (WNEP-TV, 6/18/13)
  • “Natural Gas Project to Expand in NEPA, Benefit Businesses, Residents”: The project — building a natural gas distribution system — is one local leaders say will be a boon for the northeast Pennsylvania economy. … “Cabot is the supplier. They’re producing the gas. They put it into the Williams gathering network and we attach to those assets and bring gas to the local people,” German said. … Officials from the Endless Mountain Health System — which is building a new facility — said the move will allow them to save money as they open. “Local resource, providing local jobs, contributing to the local economy and we get to burn a greener fuel source and we’ll realize a substantial savings,” said Endless Mountain Health System CEO Rex Catlin. … “It’s a great opportunity for us. It allows us to save probably 40 percent of our fuel bill and for us that’s $60,000. That puts another teacher in a classroom,” said Montrose Area High School Superintendent Mike Ognosky. (WBNG-TV, 6/18/13)
  • Pa’s Railroads “A Major Cog in the Natural Gas Industry”: In 2009, ACF Industries in Milton closed its plant for all the usual reasons lack of business and marketability. More than 200 employees were put out of work. That was then, This is now. … About 100 workers in hard hats welcomed Gov. Tom Corbett to a re-opening of the rail car manufacturing plant recently. If the governor makes another visit a year or so from now, there will be an additional 100 employees to greet him if projections hold true. … ACF’s resurgence is a reflection of the growth of the energy industry in the state and its greater reliance on the rail industry. This was an industry supposedly dead a generation ago that is now a major cog in the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. … Let’s not forget real, everyday people benefit economically from the success of the industry, whether they are drilling a gas well or building a rail car. ACF’s resurgence is testimony to that. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette editorial, 6/20/13)
  • Natural Gas Crucial to Saving, Creating Maine Manufacturing Jobs: Maine needs vital industrial employers as the backbone of our state’s economy. The pulp and paper industry alone provides thousands of jobs around the state and pumps millions of dollars in salaries and local purchasing into Maine communities. In fact, some of the best-paying jobs in the state are at paper mills, and these facilities are usually the lynchpin of the local economy. … Maine has to level the playing field for industrial facilities, and the quickest and most effective way to do that is by increasing our access to affordable natural gas. Our mills and communities need access to the affordable natural gas that’s available in the rest of the country. (Bangor Daily News op-ed, 6/16/13)
  • “Clear Benefits of Natural Gas”: Vermonters want a more affordable, clean and safe energy choice. Residents, employers, community leaders and policymakers have asked Vermont Gas to expand our natural gas system to serve more Vermonters. They want the benefits of natural gas service — significantly lower energy costs, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and renewed economic development and job creation opportunities. … Homeowners like the idea of saving $1,400 to $2,000 every year on their energy bills while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent. … A more affordable, cleaner and safe energy choice —delivered directly to Vermonters. It’s good for Vermont families, good for Vermont employers, and good for Vermont communities. (Burlington Free Press op-ed, 6/14/13)

POWERING AMERICA’S GROWING TRANSPORTATION NEEDS

  • “The Future of CNG in Transportation”: The future of vehicles may no longer be a flying car, but it could be something even greater: reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil because of the increase in availability of natural gas. Compressed natural gas is one of many alternative energy sources that are beginning to take off, John Kimball, the director of business and programs at Helman Composite Machinery, said. Helman designs and manufactures the carbon fiber containers for CNG vehicles in Taneytown. … The carbon emissions and savings on gas are a trade-off for Montgomery County. There are currently 85 CNG buses in the fleet, which the county is in the process of replacing due to their shelf life. (Carroll County Times, 6/16/13)
  • CNG is Cheaper and “it is Also Good for the Environment”: Ethel Clayton drives a truck that can run on much cheaper and cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG). “Not just because you save a whole lot of money, but it is also good for the environment and it also keeps your engine in better condition,” Clayton said. … The dramatic increase in U.S. natural gas production has made the fuel cheaper. Companies are experimenting with various ways to use natural gas as a transportation fuel. (Voice of America, 6/17/13)

STRENGTHENING OUR ECONOMY, NATIONAL SECURITY

  • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde: “Clearly, the U.S. economy is better positioned, I would say, almost by the month, given its energy policy mix and the reliability of the shale gas reserve.” … The U.S. is also getting a benefit from new energy supplies, and policies that encourage the development of shale oil and gas reserves, Lagarde said. (Press conference, 6/14/13; USA Today, 6/14/13)
  • “Natural Gas Grid Is Key Enabler For U.S. Energy Security, Says Pentagon Study”: The natural gas distribution system can significantly enhance energy security at domestic military installations during electric grid failures, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Defense. The study, performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, assessed the reliability of the natural gas supply system during electric power grid outages and concluded that it is highly resilient to the loss of electricity provided by the conventional power grid. More specifically, natural gas supplies would continue to flow with minimal risk of interrupted deliveries during electric power grid outages of three months or longer. (Forbes, 6/15/13)
  • Southern Co. CEO Thomas Fanning: “I am in Favor of Exporting Natural Gas”: Southern Co. CEO, President and Chairman Thomas Fanning on June 17 said he believes LNG exports would be good for America and therefore good for his company. His company happens to be the third-largest natural gas consumer in the nation. “We’ve got to make some historic decisions about exporting natural gas. Being parochial, you may be interested to know that I am in favor of exporting natural gas,” he told the audience at the U.S. EIA’s 2013 Energy Conference. “If it helps the economy, then I’m for it.” (SNL, 6/17/13)

NATURAL GAS: A UNIFYING AMERICAN ISSUE

  • U.S. Sen. John Barrasso: “The U.S. Has a Rare Opportunity” With Natural Gas: The United States has a rare opportunity to simultaneously help its allies, strengthen its foreign policy hand and create much-needed jobs at home — all by exporting plentiful American natural gas. The question is whether the Obama administration will allow it. … Our booming oil and gas industry has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy over the past four years as entrepreneurs have discovered new ways to tap hidden natural gas reserves. The energy boom has created thousands of good jobs at a time when our country has desperately needed them. Even more jobs can be created by exporting LNG. (Washington Post op-ed, 6/16/13)
  • President Obama’s Fmr. Nat’l Security Advisor Tom Donilon: The new U.S. energy posture and outlook will directly strengthen the nation’s economy. … Strength at home is critical to strength in the world, and the U.S. energy boom has proven to be an important driver for the country’s economic recovery — boosting jobs, economic activity, and government revenues. … IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates estimates that the shale gas industry directly or indirectly employed 600,000 Americans in 2010, a number that could double by 2020. Natural gas production has also sparked a domestic manufacturing revival. Manufacturers in energy-intensive sectors, including chemical, steel, plastics, and glass companies, have announced up to $95 billion investments across the United States to take advantage of low-cost natural gas. … The United States also has a strong interest in developing a world natural gas market that is well supplied, diverse, and efficiently priced. (Foreign Affairs op-ed, 6/15/13)
  • “Can Natural Gas Really Deliver American Energy Independence? Several Members of Congress Seem to Think So”: A bipartisan mix of lawmakers is pushing for increased use and manufacture of natural gas in the U.S.Proponents of natural gas believe that the U.S.-produced energy source can deliver jobs, lower greenhouse-gas emissions, and eventually lead to American energy independence. … Although this may seem like a pipe dream to some, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., believes the U.S. can secure economic and national security based on natural gas. “It’s not only possible, but we’re heading on the road even without Washington’s help,” Burr said at a National Journal Live event on Tuesday. “We’ve got an opportunity to really develop our natural resources.” (National Journal, 6/18/13)
  • U.S. House Energy & Commerce Chairman Fred Upton: “America’s energy landscape is changing for the better, creating opportunities for jobs, economic growth, energy security, and an enhanced standing around the world. … America can export a portion of its natural gas abundance while still maintaining affordable domestic supplies to continue powering our manufacturing renaissance.” (Testimony, 6/18/13)
  • U.S. Energy Department Assistant Secretary Christopher Smith: “The boom in domestic shale gas provides unprecedented opportunities for the United States. Over the last several years, domestic natural gas production has increased significantly. Production growth is primarily due to the development of improved drilling technologies, including the ability to produce natural gas trapped in shale gas geologic formations.” (Testimony, 6/18/13)
  • U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chairman Ed Whitfield: “Over the past few years we have seen a remarkable expansion of domestic natural gas production to the point that we are now the number one producer in the world. … Natural gas exports would create jobs and economic development while strengthening our ties with energy-importing allies like Japan and India who would much rather buy from us than from Russia or Iran. … Instead of arbitrary and irrational barriers proposed on U.S. exports, the U.S. can be a global energy leader by exporting affordable and reliable energy to poverty-stricken countries that would otherwise have no electricity. (Testimony, 6/18/13)

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