For the first time since the 1950s, U.S. natural gas exports have surpassed imports, representing an historic milestone in America’s energy revolution, as Platts recently reported, that continues to deliver benefits for consumers, manufacturers, and our environment, while strengthening America’s influence abroad.
This significant progress – which some would have never expected just a decade ago – has been made possible in large part by the responsible development of shale gas, including here in the Commonwealth.
The United States’ positive transformation as a net natural gas exporter is critical to strengthening America’s global competitiveness while supporting our key allies and trading partners. In fact, ambassadors from seven central and eastern European countries asked U.S. congressional leaders on Tuesday to support legislation that would expedite and further open up LNG exports to their countries.
At the same time, thanks to increased natural gas production and use, the U.S. has cut carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country in the world. And locally, the Port Authority of Allegheny Co. is phasing in compressed natural gas powered buses to take advantage of their clean-air benefits.
What’s more, our region’s manufacturers are experiencing a natural gas-driven manufacturing renaissance as KDKA-TV recently reported that Shell’s cracker facility that will utilize locally produced ethane is “expected to bring more businesses, jobs to the Beaver Co. area.”
These clear benefits are just some of the many reasons why voters continue to overwhelmingly support American energy, as a new poll found that 80 percent of voters surveyed on election night support increased domestic oil and gas production.
Here’s what else they’re saying about clean-burning American natural gas.
CLEAN, RELIABLE POWER
- “Plant Manager: Natural Gas a Game-Changer”: The Panda Patriot power plant is among a number of generating stations either in operation or being built to take advantage of the natural gas resources available in Pa.. … Cooled by air rather than water, the plant neither draws nor discharges water into the nearby Susquehanna River. The plant employs 27 full-time employees, half of whom are from the local area, according to [Joe Lloyd, general manager of the Clinton Township based plant]. … “We picked the best talent that was in the area,” he said. … Plant construction resulted in about 550 temporary jobs. … Joe Callis, lead security analyst, PJM Interconnection, noted how natural gas has become an increasingly bigger player in the energy market. … “Marcellus is a huge game changer for us,” he said. (Sun-Gazette, 11/11/16)
- Clean-Burning Natural Gas Plant to Provide Power for 13,000 Homes: A company that develops and operates small, natural gas-fired power plants expects to begin construction on a 20-megawatt power plant mid-2017 in Greene Township. … The plant will be capable of generating enough energy to serve about 13,000 homes. “All natural gas used at the plant will be sourced from the local region,” Kristi Gittins, spokeswoman for IMG Midstream, said in an email response to questions about the project. (Observer-Reporter, 11/11/16)
- “Voters Support More Development of Oil, Gas”: During a telephone news conference to discuss his organization’s post-election outlook on energy with reporters, Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer for API, said the industry looks forward to working with Trump to create jobs, enhance energy security and continue to lower carbon emissions. Gerard opened the discussion by noting an election-night survey conducted by API that found 80 percent of voters surveyed agreed U.S. oil and gas production was producing job creation, economic growth and energy security, adding 80 percent of those surveyed said they supported increased oil and gas production domestically, including 71 percent of Democrats, 94 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of independents. “Seventy-seven percent of voters say they support a national energy policy that ensures a secure supply of abundant, affordable and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner,” he said. (Observer-Reporter, 11/11/16)
- “Shell Cracker Plant Expected to Bring More Businesses, Jobs to Beaver Co. Area”: Shell Chemical’s cracker plant in Potter Township is expected to bring hundreds of jobs and more businesses to the region. Pa. Governor Tom Wolf said that when the cracker plant opens sometime after 2020, it will be a “game changer for Pa.’s economy.” Government officials said that even though the plant hasn’t opened yet, businesses are interested in relocating to the area. “They are knocking down my door. Lots of businesses are interested in locating very close to this plant,” Dennis Davin, from the DCED, said. … It also creates 6,000 full-time construction jobs and 600 full-time permanent positions when complete. Shell said it is working hard to do well for the community. “We are making sure we get a good turnout for investment and good stewards for this community,” Michael Marr, of Shell, said. (WPXI, 11/14/16)
- “Shell Cracker Plant Takes Shape in Beaver Co.”: When completed in 2020, the new cracker plant will employ 600 people, but it will take 6,000 people — many local — to build this huge complex beginning in late 2017. … “There was a study that was done by Robert Morris that suggested $6 billion of economic impact here as a result of this particular development,” said Pa. Secretary of Economic Development Dennis Davis. $6 billion for the region? Gov. Wolf said that’s just a start — like the first steel mill built in Pittsburgh. “I’m not sure this isn’t somewhat the same thing. They’re going to be jobs well beyond we can anticipate over the next ten, twenty, forty years in this area. This is a big deal,” he said. One visit to the site is enough to convince anyone of the massive scale of this project which promises jobs for years to come. (KDKA, 11/14/16)
- Beaver Co. Ethane Cracker Sparks “Regional Renaissance in Manufacturing” and “Revolutionizes the Local Economy”: Wolf repeatedly praised the company for deciding to build a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant on the banks of the Ohio River in Potter Township. He called Shell “a great corporate citizen” and a “good environmental citizen.” The plant goes well beyond the 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs that will come here, Wolf said. Rather, it’s about a regional renaissance in manufacturing, one that could revolutionize the local economy for decades. “A couple years ago when I came out to Pittsburgh, to western Pa., the question was, how are we going to get more jobs?” Wolf said. “How are we going to get more opportunities for the people who grew up here in western Pa.? That’s not the question anymore, thanks in no small part to the Shell cracker plant.” … “This is going to be a lot cleaner than anything that was there before, and it’s really clean compared to anything we can conceive of right now,” Wolf said. The governor went on to say the plant will be “environmentally, as friendly as you can get.” (Beaver Co. Times, 11/14/16)