Clean-Burning Natural Gas a “Golden Opportunity” for America

From bolstering private sector job growth to generating substantial tax and fee revenues, and increasing the safe production and use of clean-burning natural gas all while making progressive environmental strides — the natural gas industry is unleashing innovative strategies that, taken together, are Powering an American Renaissance.

In fact, a recent AOL Energy article highlights the positive economic benefits associated with responsible shale gas development, especially as it relates to sustained, broad-based job creation. Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department, an arm of the AFL-CIO, tells AOL Energy that the safe, tightly-regulated American natural gas development is a “golden opportunity” and a “foundation for American economic development.”

We couldn’t agree more, and a key tenet of our Guiding Principles is to “conduct our business in a manner that will provide sustainable and broad-based economic and energy-security benefits for all.”

And in the same article, John Larson of IHS, says this about the American natural gas production:

The economic boom in oil and natural gas production resulting from advanced drilling technology lifted the US gross domestic product a full percentage point during the recent recession…and it can continue to boost the economy for the foreseeable future.

So how are consumers benefitting? Well, a recent IHS report estimates that households saw an average energy savings of $1,000, due in large part to more natural gas coming to the market. At the same time, finding more ways to use our abundant natural gas resources, which is a clear environmental and business winner, remains a critical focus. And Marcellus Shale Coalition member companies, like Seneca Resources Corp. and others, are using natural gas to power their drilling operations. This from E&E News:

Gas driller Seneca Resources Corp. is going to start using its own product for drilling operations. The company announced Thursday that it will complete the conversion of two of its Pennsylvania drilling rigs from diesel fuel to natural gas. Seneca says they will be the “first dedicated, 100 percent liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled drilling rigs” operating in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

“The use of alternative fuels,” said Seneca President Matthew Cabell, “is just one step in a broader strategic plan to expand the use of natural gas in our drilling program.” The move reduces the rigs’ “environmental footprint,” he said, but also costs less. … Cabell said that at today’s prices, the savings could be as much as 65 percent. The rigs are also quieter and produce far less odor, which improves relationships with drill rig neighbors.

Seneca isn’t the first company to undertake such an effort. EQT Corp., a driller focused on gas production, announced in July the launch of a pilot program to use LNG on rigs. At the time, the switch was under way at a rig in West Virginia. Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. said in June it is working to convert some of its drilling rigs to compressed natural gas (CNG).

Have questions about how natural gas is produced from the Marcellus Shale and how this clean-burning, abundant American resource is powering our economy, including our manufacturing sector? Visit and join the online conversation using #LearnAboutShale.