Thanks to America’s shale energy revolution, the United States remains the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer, according to a new U.S. Energy Information Administration report. Since surpassing Russia in 2011, the U.S. has maintained its number one position in natural gas production with Pennsylvania contributing significantly to America’s enhanced security.
In addition to boosting America’s geopolitical strength, natural gas is energizing manufacturers here at home and delivering savings for families and small businesses throughout the Commonwealth. What’s more, natural gas development supports thousands of jobs – including many for our region’s building trades union members – and creates positive benefits for local communities.
Yet some in Harrisburg continue to pursue even higher energy taxes that will hurt Pennsylvania jobs and small businesses. As MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer told the Pittsburgh Business-Times this week, Pennsylvanians support the state’s current natural gas impact tax and oppose plans to make Pennsylvania the highest energy taxed state:
“Pennsylvania’s unique natural gas tax, which is in addition to one of the nation’s highest corporate tax rates, is working as designed and is strongly supported by local communities. We hear this every day, as local communities – not Harrisburg – are empowered to put these hundreds of millions in natural gas tax revenues to work as they see best fit.”
Here’s what else they’re saying.
Higher Energy Taxes Will Sting Small Businesses
- There Couldn’t be a Worse Time for Higher Energy Taxes: [MSC’s David] Spigelmyer acknowledged the supply chain has suffered with the downturn. … Rig counts in the region have plummeted from 111 to just a handful in the past 18 months, as producers wait for natural gas prices – depressed to just over $1 per thousand cubic feet in the Appalachian Basin – to reach a point where drilling again makes economic sense. … The downturn caused [Alex Gonzalez, president of Neptune Solutions] to abandon the industrial complex off Route 136 for a “less expensive” – his words – location in Washington Co., along the Monongahela River near Brownsville. Neptune’s biocide water treatment operation there is bare bones. … “Pretty much every bit of operation in the Appalachian Basin is on hold,” Gonzalez said. “No one is doing anything. Everyone is operating at break-even or a loss. You don’t see anyone making a profit. And this (downturn) has been holding on for a long time. Every day, you hear about another company closing its doors.” (Observer-Reporter, 5/23/16)
Shale Creates Energy Security, Consumer, Environmental Benefits
- New U.S. Energy Era Will Be a Gas: For the first time since Ike was in the White House and lead was in gasoline, exports of U.S. natural gas will outstrip imports in a shift that could occur as soon as the end of this year, the head of the U.S. EIA said last week. As imports plummeted 40% last year from their peak in 2007, American gas exports soared 116% during the same period, buoyed by a flood of natural gas unleashed by fracking and horizontal drilling, according to the EIA. “This pickup in growth in the United States leads to the U.S., in the very near future – later this year, next year – becoming a net exporter of natural gas,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said. (U.S. News & World Report, 5/15/16)
- U.S. is World’s Top Oil and Gas Producer: The U.S. managed to beat out the Saudis and Russia as the world’s top oil and natural gas producer last year. … “U.S. petroleum and natural gas production first surpassed Russia in 2012, and the U.S. has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2011 and the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013,” the EIA reported. (Washington Examiner, 5/23/16)
- More Trucks Powered by Clean-Burning Natural Gas: In an effort to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, South Carolina’s Randolph Trucking plans to convert four more of the trucks in its fleet so they run on CNG. … “We’re able to be financially more efficient, environmentally more friendly, and frankly, more competitive through the use of CNG fuel, and this kind of investment in our company makes it possible,” Randolph Trucking President Charles Randolph said. 5/20/16
- CNG-Powered Vehicles Travel Cross-Country: Three vehicles fueled by CNG, an alternative to gasoline, will depart Long Beach to embark on a cross-country tour aimed at showing enough CNG fuel stations in the US exist for a cross-country CNG trip. The cars will stop at 13 CNG fuel stations throughout the continental U.S. as the cars make their way to Washington, D.C. and raise awareness about gas alternatives. (Long Beach Post, 5/24/16)