MSC’s Steve Forde in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Natural Gas Facts

It’s startling how many facts were wrong in a recent letter ranting about the natural gas industry (“Big Gas and Legislators Are Taking Us Down a Frightening Path,” March 11) and even more disappointing that the Post-Gazette would print such a letter.

The letter claims America’s abundant natural gas supply, about 100 years’ worth, will last only about 45 years because half is exported. That’s a completely made-up figure. Even with the new natural gas production in the Marcellus and other shale formations across the country, the United States is still a net importer of gas. Almost 10 percent of the natural gas consumed here comes from Canada, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The letter says hydraulic fracturing, the technology that unlocks natural gas from shale and provides jobs for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians, adversely impacts drinking water. The truth is, hydraulic fracturing is time-tested and there has not been “any proven case where the fracking process itself affected water,” according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.

The letter then appears to suggest that we can’t develop Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas reserves and renewable energy at the same time. That’s not true, either. Wind turbines and solar panels need other energy sources to back them up, and gas-fired power plants are the “logical, low-cost choice for providing this back-up,” according to a report from ICF International.

Nobody suggests that letter writers do not have the right to their own opinions about Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. But they do not have the right to their own facts.

Vice President
Marcellus Shale Coalition

NOTE: Click HERE to view this letter online.