“America’s Heartland” Supports Safe, Job-Creating Shale Development

A new survey released this week by PittsburghTODAY – an independent analysis organization hosted by the University of Pittsburgh – found that an overwhelming majority of western Pennsylvanians support safe shale development. The nearly 2-to-1 margin of support indicates further that “the future is bright” for clean domestic natural gas – which is “helping the U.S. economy and protecting the environment.

Here is what they are saying:

POWERING OUR TRANSPORTATION SECTOR

  • Clean, Quiet Compressed Natural Gas Offers “Major Benefits” to Local Fleet: [Republic Services] … displayed a new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) truck. The new vehicles will gradually replace its entire fleet. … The energy-efficient trucks are expected to save Republic financially and be more friendly toward the environment as well. Jackson said the trucks release about 50 percent fewer emissions than the current diesel fleet and are safer as well. … Another benefit will be a quieter vehicle. … “We are hoping to have the CNG trucks running in both counties in about three years,” he said. …  “We do anticipate fuel savings after the initial investment is paid back that will result in savings for our customers down the road,” Jackson said. “Right away, the major benefits are significantly reduced emissions and less noise.” (Albany Democrat-Herald, 10/29/13)
  • Natural Gas Powered Vehicles Provide Immediate Environmental Benefits: With natural gas in plentiful supply at bargain prices in the United States, issues that have limited its use in cars are being rethought, and its market share could increase, perhaps substantially. According to Energy Department price information from July, natural gas offers economic advantages. … The environmental benefits appear to be immediate. (New York Times, 10/29/13)
  • Trucking Industry’s “Rapid Shift” to CNG Has Positive Economic, Environmental Benefits:  Operators of some of the largest U.S. truck fleets, including Lowe’s Cos., Procter & Gamble and UPS are accelerating a shift to natural gas fueled trucks. … Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s wants its delivery company to shift all of its several hundred trucks to natural gas by 2017. P&G already has 7% of its trucks on gas and could reach as much as 20% within two years. UPS says it plans to buy 1,000 natural gas trucks by the end of next year. FedEx Corp. plans to shift 30% of its long-distance trucks to natural gas over the next decade. The nation’s supply of relatively cheap natural gas is helping spur this shift. … About 5% of all heavy duty trucks sold next year will run on natural gas. … A shift to natural gas for trucking has implications for the U.S. consumption of oil, domestic energy industry and air quality. …  This year about 60% of all new garbage trucks purchased use natural gas. … Waste Management Inc. has converted about 15% of its 22,000-truck fleet to natural gas. About 90% of its future purchases will be natural gas fueled, helping it save between $15,000 and $20,000 a year per vehicle. (Wall Street Journal, 10/29/13)
  • Lock Haven University Introduces “Economical, Environmentally Friendly” CNG Trolley: Lock Haven University has become the first Pennsylvania institution of higher learning to adopt economical, environmentally friendly natural gas as a transportation fuel for one of its three student commuter trolleys. … As a result of a substantial volume of Pennsylvania-produced natural gas being extracted from the Marcellus Shale formation, cost for the natural gas to operate the trolley is more than $1 less than the average price per gallon of liquid gasoline. In addition, according to Barry Wentzel of UGI Utilities Inc., the company supplying CNG to the new station, natural gas burns much cleaner… “We are very excited to be using this environmentally safe technology,” said Rodney Jenkins, university executive assistant to the president. “And we expect to see significant savings on fuel costs.” (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 10/28/13)
  • “Expanded Use of Natural Gas as U.S. Motor Fuel ‘Sensible Strategy’”: Expanding the use of natural gas to fuel US motor vehicles is the most sensible strategy for reducing…the nation’s reliance on oil imports from politically unstable parts of the world. … Former US Defense and Energy Sec. James R. Schlesinger said “there are endless amounts of natural gas which can be converted to fuel for our automobiles.” … “Hypothetically, if the nation’s entire heavy-truck fleet switched from diesel to natural gas, we could reduce oil imports by about a third and sharply cut the fuel component of shipping costs,” [Pickens] said. “It also makes business sense in smaller trucks, which is why GM has introduced a range of vans and pickups that use CNG.” (Oil and Gas Journal, 10/28/13)
  • Louisville Trucking Company has “Many Reasons” to Switch to Clean Natural Gas: A Louisville-based trucking company is planning to replace its entire fleet with natural gas-powered vehicles. M&M Cartage has already begun switching its trucks to compressed natural gas. In four years, the company will have replaced all 120 of its older vehicles with CNG trucks. This move will have a significant effect on the company’s carbon footprint. Vehicles that run on compressed natural gas have drastically lower emissions. … M&M CEO Don Hayden said there are many reasons the company is planning the switch to natural gas. “It helps us control our fuel costs, hopefully to be competitive in the marketplace going forward,” he said. “It’s a domestic product, it’s not a foreign product. There are just so many things lining up in its favor.” (WFPL, 10/28/13)

A REBIRTH FOR “AMERICA’S HEARTLAND”

  • Duke Energy to Build New Natural Gas Power Plant in the Palmetto State: U.S. power company Duke Energy Corp’s Carolinas unit filed with South Carolina regulators for approval to build a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant at its existing Lee power station. … Duke said the Lee natural gas project will create about 500 jobs at the height of construction. (Reuters, 10/28/13)
  • Fmr. Allegheny Co. Executive: Shale Has Been a Major Source of Economic Growth: [Former Allegheny Co. Executive Jim Roddey] talked up water in tandem with the region’s new economic activity in natural gas exploration. … Roddey noted how the Marcellus Shale exploration helped to make Washington County the third-fastest-growing county in the region and has been a major source of economic growth for the region as a whole. … He said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was working hard and has been responsive to business, and is hopeful that a team of Fitzgerald at the county and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Peduto will work together to mutual benefit of the region. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 10/30/13)
  • Shale Revolution Ignites a Revitalization of the “American Heartland”: After the Arab oil embargo of 1973, America’s energy dependence became the most obvious flaw in our superpower status. … While the U.S. seems set to displace Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer by 2020, our natural gas production has lifted our geopolitical gravitas. Now the world’s largest natural gas producer, the U.S. is poised to take a growing profile as a gas exporter. … Major political implications follow from this shift. … The shale revolution’s revitalization of the American heartland has become abundantly evident. … The geological evidence shows sufficient gas to meet domestic needs (as we re-industrialize) while supplying Asian and other foreign buyers and gaining a geopolitical premium in the bargain. (Houston Chronicle op-ed, 10/27/13)
  • Natural Gas Helps the “U.S. Economy, Protects the Environment”: The [Cove Point] project to build a facility to liquefy natural gas will provide significant economic benefits for Calvert County and Maryland while helping the U.S. economy and protecting the environment. … By using highly efficient technology, greenhouse gas emissions will be dramatically lower… The project is consistent with President Obama’s climate strategy, which calls for increased use of natural gas both here and abroad. … At $3.8 billion, the project will be one of the largest capital investments in Maryland history and will create 3,000 well-paying construction jobs over three years. The 75 new permanent jobs at the facility will be in addition to thousands of well-paying U.S. jobs in other parts of Maryland and beyond created by this project. (Washington Post LTE, 10/26/13)

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