What They’re Saying: Shale a “Huge Advantage for our Region”

America’s abundant shale resources are increasingly being leveraged to power our transportation needs and as also boosting our nation’s manufacturing base. At the same time, this tightly-regulated development is spurring small business job growth and dramatically strengthening U.S. energy security all while bolstering air quality.

Here is what regional and national outlets are saying about shale’s “incredible impact”:

LEVERAGING LOCAL, ABUNDANT NATURAL GAS

  • Luzerne Co. Gets First Natural Gas Fueling Station: Clean Energy Fuels Corp. won a $1.17 million Alternative and Clean Energy Grant to build a LCNG station that is to sell compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas to the public. … “This station will have CNG capability, which means everything from a Honda Civic natural gas vehicle all the way up to an 18-wheeler will be able to fuel up,” [Clean Energy spokesman Patrick] Rayburn said. … The company will seek contracts with local vendors to build the station. … More grants were doled out last week for Pennsylvania haulers to make the switch to natural gas vehicles, with one company from Luzerne County and another from Lackawanna County. Gov. Tom Corbett’s office announced Friday about $7.7 million in grants funded by impact fees to natural gas drillers under the Act 13 law, was spread across the state. (Times-Leader, 3/23/14)
  • Clean-Burning CNG Coming to Cambria Co.: Centre Area Transportation Authority recently paid a little less than 80 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent for an order of compressed natural gas. … That difference is the main reason CamTran plans to convert much of its fleet to CNG. … Using the greener fuel should allow CamTran to save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in fuel costs, while also reducing emissions. … CamTran plans to install the filling station at its new headquarters/garage, which is expected to open sometime this summer in Johnstown’s Woodvale neighborhood. … Cambria County has ordered its first CNG bus. … CATA already has an entire fleet of 66 buses in place. Centre Area started its conversion in 1996 and, in 2005, became the first transportation agency on the East Coast to replace an entire fleet with vehicles that operate solely on CNG. … “There has been a substantial savings in fuel.” (Tribune-Democrat, 3/22/14)
  • Local CNG Station a Positive “Investment in our Community”: Cambria County Transit Authority recently learned it will receive state funding to install a CNG fueling station at its new garage/headquarters in the Woodvale neighborhood of the city. The pumps will also be open to the public. … W.C. McQuaide Inc., a trucking company, expects to have a station built at its Richland Township facility by the end of the year. “The primary motivation was that we expect to realize savings in our fuel expense by converting part of our fleet to compressed natural gas trucks,” said Rex McQuaide, a co-owner, whose company’s primary footprint is in Pennsylvania and neighboring states. Once the station is operational, McQuaide plans to ask township officials for approval to sell CNG to the public. “It’s an investment in our community,” McQuaide said. (Tribune-Democrat, 3/22/14)
  • Sen. Yudichak: Natural Gas Access is a “Huge Advantage for our Region”: State Sen. John Yudichak and state Rep. Mike Carroll today announced an over $1.1 million grant that will be used to construct a public access Compressed Natural Gas fueling station in Pittston Township. … “This $3 million joint investment by the state and Clean Energy is great news for our environment and also for the Greater Pittston area,” Yudichak said. “Clean natural gas vehicles are the way of the future and making a fueling station readily available and publicly accessible will prove to be a huge advantage for our region.” … “The rapid development of natural gas extraction in our state has changed the landscape of viable motor vehicle fuels for our region,” Carroll added. “A partnership such as this will enhance alternatives for our region’s citizens who may be considering a CNG or LNG powered vehicle.” …  “Constructing the Pittston LCNG station is a crucial step toward expanding the CNG market in Pennsylvania, spurring economic development and enhancing the Commonwealth’s energy independence and security.” (Release, 3/20/14)

MARCELLUS SHALE POWERS PA’S ECONOMY

  • Natural Gas Plant Creating Jobs, Clean Electricity: Construction of a natural gas-fueled power plant in Clinton Township is progressing on schedule. …  Officials say the facility will be one of the cleanest and most efficient natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation. Constructed to take advantage of its proximity to the Marcellus Shale, the plant will be cooled by air rather than water. That will eliminate the need for drawing or discharging water from the nearby Susquehanna River, preventing potential impacts to river habitat, according to officials. … The plant is expected to create up to 500 construction jobs. The facility will create an estimated 27 skilled jobs for operations. Another 45 indirect jobs within the community will be needed to support the plant. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 3/23/14)
  • “Marcellus Shale has Played a Key Role in the Growth” of Local Companies: Blair County is not a hot bed for the Marcellus Shale industry as Juniata Township is the only municipality in the county that has any of the gas wells. However, as a result of Marcellus Shale, at least two companies have located here, and another soon will be coming to the area. Gardner Denver…has done well since it opened in Tipton in May 2012. The company now employs 40 workers. … HalenHardy LLC opened in January 2013…to develop products and services that improve worker health and safety across multiple industries including oil and gas. … “We wouldn’t exist without it; the company was created because of the Marcellus Shale industry,” said CEO and co-founder Donny Beaver. … New Pig Energy was launched in January 2013 in response to the Marcellus Shale industry. … “Marcellus Shale is 100 percent of our business. Our employment has more than doubled since we started. We are up to 23 employees,” said Beth Powell, vice president and general manager. … “There has been positive growth because of Marcellus Shale.” … Marcellus Shale also provides work for P. Joseph Lehman Inc. Consulting Engineers, Duncansville, which has been an active member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. (Altoona Mirror, 3/23/14)
  • “Pa. a Leader in Manufacturing Job Growth”: Employment in the manufacturing sector is rising and Western Pennsylvania is among regions demonstrating rapid growth because of energy-intensive industries, a report for the U.S. Conference of Mayors found. Energy-intensive manufacturing employment will expand by more than 1 percent per year nationwide, with 72 percent of those jobs in metropolitan areas, the report said, noting that the Marcellus shale play in Pennsylvania…significantly fueled that expansion. … Pittsburgh remains a national leader in iron and steel manufacturing jobs. …  Employment in iron and steel is forecast to contract by 0.9 percent annually in Pittsburgh through 2020. … “You’ll see that the oil and gas industry grew during the 2007-to-2012 period because of the growth in the oil and gas industry, especially in shale gas, and Pennsylvania led that growth,” said Jennifer Cruz, an economist with BLS. … Shale-gas development led to a surge in employment in Pennsylvania. In 2012, the state was the sixth-largest employer nationwide in the oil and gas sector, up from the 10th largest in 2007, the Labor Department said. Pennsylvania had the second-biggest employment increase during that period, behind Texas. The average pay in the oil and gas sector in 2012 was $82,974 in Pennsylvania, higher than the state average of $48,297. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/22/14)

STRENGTHENED NATIONAL SECURITY

  • “Using U.S. natural gas as an energy wedge against Russia”: Mr. Putin has used his nation’s wealth of oil and natural gas as a cudgel to bully his neighbors. … Meanwhile, the U.S. is tapping massive reserves of unconventional natural gas. That has not only made the U.S. self-sustaining in gas, but also driven down the price of U.S. gas to a point well below what Europeans are paying for the Russian stuff. … The result would be a bounty for the U.S. economy and an improved American trade deficit. … LNG exports would send a signal that “the U.S. is open for business,” as the Eurasia Group’s Leslie Palti-Guzman puts it. … The economic case for allowing natural gas exports is compelling on its own. Doing so would bring money into the country and uphold the vital principle that energy resources should flow freely around the globe. … The more major suppliers there are following that principle, the less control predatory regimes such as Mr. Putin’s will have over the market. (Washington Post editorial, 3/22/14)
  • America’s Shale Gas Revolution has “Changed the Global Energy Balance”: European nations, heavily dependent on Russian gas, investment, and markets, have been far more timid. … In the short term, Putin can’t credibly use the threat of a gas cutoff to scare off stronger European action. … America’s shale gas revolution – creating a switch from gas importer to soon-to-be exporter – has changed the global energy balance; this means new resources are available elsewhere for Europe. So it is Western leaders who should brandish the energy weapon when they gather in Europe (while also pledging strong economic support for Ukraine, along with weapons for self-defense). Obama should state America’s intent to speed the end of its ban on export of hydrocarbons and to speed the building of terminals to export LNG. (Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed, 3/23/14)

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