What They’re Saying: Natural Gas Creating “Significant” Environmental Benefits, Sparking “a Manufacturing Renaissance”

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The clear, undeniable environmental and economic benefits tied to the safe development of clean-burning American natural gas continue to cascade across our region – as well as throughout local, national and international news outlets. Here’s what they’re saying about the responsible development of job-creating shale gas, which is Powering an American Renaissance:


  • “Natural Gas Producers Turn to ‘Green Completion’”: Natural gas producers are turning to new techniques to capture the gas emitted during the well-completion process. … Now, more operators are employing reduced-emission completions – a “green completion” – a process in which impurities such as sand, drilling debris, and fluids from hydraulic fracturing are filtered out and the gas is sold, not wasted. … EQT is not the only drilling company that has embraced green completions. The equipment for separating the gas from the “flowback” has been perfected over the last decade and in the next three years, using it will become standard practice across the nation. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/25/12)
  • “Baker Hughes Using Natural Gas in Fracturing Jobs”: Baker Hughes has converted a fleet of its most fuel-intensive equipment used in hydraulic fracturing to run partially on natural gas, the company said Monday. The conversion has turned a fleet of Baker Hughes pressure pumps into bifuel units that now run on both diesel and natural gas. The move allows the company to take advantage of lower-cost natural gas, cutting diesel use by up to 65 percent without losing any hydraulic horsepower, the company said. … “Baker Hughes has seen excellent results with this initiative,” Mike Davis, Baker Hughes’ president of pressure pumping for U.S. land, said in a statement. “The environmental benefits are significant. … In addition, this has the added value of improving job site safety by eliminating re-fueling demands during operations.” (FuelFix, 11/26/12)
  • Seneca Resources: “We Take Care of the Environment”: “We have professionals on staff, we have professionals that we contract all in the effort to be environmentally responsible,” said Rob Boulware, manager of stakeholder relations at Seneca Resources. Despite the protests and the opposition many have about the industry, workers said they are keeping the environment safe. “We take care of the environment, make sure everything goes as directed,” said well site foreman, Jud Payne. … “We are doing whatever we can to not only protect the area that we’re drilling, but the public at large,” Boulware said. (WJAC-TV, 11/20/12)
  • “Marcellus Shale Producers Making the Switch to Cleaner Rigs”: Marcellus Shale producers are beginning to practice what they preach: switching to gas-powered drilling rigs that are cleaner, quieter, and cost less than diesels. Energy Corp. of America launched a biofuel rig last year that can run on diesel or field gas. Consol Energy has two dual-fuel systems in operation in Greene County, Pa. In northern Pennsylvania, Seneca Resources Corp. announced last month it had converted two of its rigs to operate on natural gas. … Compared to diesel, a natural-gas rig emits 20 percent to 30 percent less carbon dioxide. It emits a small fraction of the nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulates. … Ensign Energy Services Inc., a Denver rig operator, estimates switching to LNG could knock $660,000 off the annual fuel cost of one rig … [and] estimates that if every land-based drilling rig in America were converted from diesel, it would reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 250,000 tons a year and particulate emissions by 6,300 tons per year. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/25/12)
  • “Seneca Resources Converts Drilling Rigs to Use Natural Gas”: A Pennsylvania oil and gas company has become the first in the state to successfully convert its drillings rigs to use natural gas. Seneca Resources Corporation has converted two of its drilling rigs in Lycoming and Elk counties. Instead of diesel fuel the company will use 100 percent liquified natural gas (LNG) to drill into the Marcellus Shale. “We’re bringing this product to market. We need to use this product as a country, and we want to set an example as Seneca Resources for using this product,” said Rob Boulware, manager of stakeholder relations at Seneca Resources. (WJAC-TV, 11/26/12)
  • Compressed Natural Gas a “Cleaner, Cheaper-Burning Alternative”: Touting natural gas as a cheaper, cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline and diesel, drillers, public utilities and government officials are trying to boost demand for natural gas buses, taxis, shuttles, delivery trucks and heavy-duty work vehicles of all sorts. … Natural gas costs about $1.50 to $2 per gallon equivalent less than gasoline and diesel. … Companies as diverse as AT&T, Waste Management and UPS are converting all or parts of their fleets to natural gas, as are transit agencies, municipalities and state governments. … Waste Management, the nation’s largest trash hauler, has committed to replacing 80 percent of its fleet with trucks powered by natural gas. … EQT Corp. opened its own natural gas filling station outside Pittsburgh in summer 2011, using it to refuel its trucks while also making it available to the public. (Associated Press, 11/25/12)
  • Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles Continue to Take Hold: CNG is a much cheaper, cleaner way to run our cars and trucks than gasoline. … [The expanded production of U.S.] natural gas has made CNG 30 percent to 40 percent cheaper. That’s a reduction of about $1.25 per gallon equivalent of gasoline. … In addition to being cleaner and cheaper, the pros of CNG vehicles include their ability to run on either compressed natural gas or gasoline, and the way they can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/25/12)


  • “U.S. Manufacturing Output Rising On Natural Gas Boom”: Rising U.S. production of natural gas is boosting output of manufacturing industries by increasing demand for a range of products associated with exploration, production and transmission of the fuel, including pipes, drill bits, excavators, chemicals, asphalt, and pumps, executives said. …  Manufacturers of chemicals, steel, tires, plastics and glass are among those that have built new plants, restarted shuttered facilities, or expanded existing factories to help meet demand from the booming gas industry and to take advantage of lower gas costs after cutting back production that was previously uneconomic. “It has sparked a manufacturing renaissance,” said George Biltz, Corporate Vice President for Energy and Climate Change at Dow Chemical. …  Pennsylvania’s gas boom…is also helping manufacturers in the southeast of the state, where there is no drilling. Schramm Inc., which makes gas-drilling rigs in Westchester, Pa., saw revenue rise by 50% in 2010 and then double again in 2011, largely thanks to the gas boom, said Fred Slack, vice president of business development. The increased output allowed the company to increase its work force to 250 by the end of 2011, an increase of about 35% from the start of 2010. (MNI News, 11/26/12)
  • “Marcellus Gas Production on the Rise”: The number of rigs operating in the Marcellus gas play declined, though production there increased 72 percent since last year, the U.S. government reports. … The EIA said despite the rig count decline in the Marcellus play, natural gas production increased 72 percent in October compared to the same time last year. The 6.8 billion cubic feet per day produced there represented about 26 percent of U.S. shale natural gas production. (UPI, 11/21/12)
  • “Pennsylvania Continues to Benefit From Marcellus Shale”: Studies confirm that Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation is the global superstar of natural gas formations and is a key driver in true American energy independence. Marcellus Shale gas will help make Pennsylvania the energy capital of the nation and spark the rebirth of our petrochemical and manufacturing base. Production from Marcellus wells is exceeding expectations and some of the wells are among the most productive in the world. We already have 240,000 jobs related to our oil and natural gas extraction activities. When it comes to production numbers, Standard & Poor’s own words confirm that this is a “mere drop in the bucket” of the Marcellus’ full potential. … From encouraging wastewater recycling to one of the most progressive hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure laws in the nation, the state’s oil and gas program assures responsible, protective development of natural gas. (Patriot-News op-ed, 11/27/12)
  • “Shale Creates Jobs Here”: The [shale gas] boom is impacting employment, even here. A case in point: NiSource. … Karl Brack, NiSource’s vice president of communications and engagement strategies, said the company has added about 50 jobs in the Charleston area in the last two years, mostly as a result of the shale gas boom. NiSource now has a total of 590 employees in West Virginia, Brack said. The outlook for the creation of more jobs is positive. The company has proposed a long-term plan that would invest $300 million a year in system improvements to ensure the safe and reliable transportation of natural gas. NiSource has estimated that a total of 7,000 jobs would be created across its system as a result of the program. (Charleston Daily Mail, 11/22/12)
  • Harvard Professor: Shale Gas Paving Way for New America Economic “Golden Age”: Niall Ferguson says America could actually be heading toward a new economic “golden age.” Ferguson, who is also an author and commentator, believes the production of natural gas and oil from shale formations via a process known as “fracking” — forcing open rocks by injecting fluid into cracks — will be a game changer. … That energy boom, asserts Ferguson, will create jobs in the United States. Lots of jobs. The energy sector currently supports 1.7 million American jobs directly or indirectly, according to economic forecaster IHS global Insight. That could rise to 3 million by 2020, it says. “It’s not only in the extraction industry and infrastructure, but more importantly cheap energy is going to create employment in manufacturing. I think you’ll see a renaissance in manufacturing,” said Ferguson. (CNN, 11/23/12)


  • Responsible Shale Gas Development “Gains Momentum”: Political obstacles to oil and gas production are starting to fall away at the state and local levels as voters, elected officials and courts jump on the energy boom bandwagon. Voters are rewarding local politicians who support production. … Most states were caught off guard when fracking turned Pennsylvania into a major natural gas producer in 2009. Fracking could produce oil or gas in as many as 36 states. Result: The USA will become the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas in 2015 and oil in 2017, overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia, respectively, predicts the International Energy Agency. … Pro-drilling candidates are winning at the local level, including a sweep in southern New York. (USA Today, 11/20/12)
  • “Votes Are in, and Shale Gas Development is the Winner”: Support for hydraulic fracturing among upstate New Yorkers has steadily increased as they learn more about the responsible use of the technology and watch the safe development of shale gas across the border in Pennsylvania. … It’s therefore no surprise that candidates whose campaigns were openly biased against hydraulic fracturing also lost races in neighboring congressional districts, for the position of Broome County executive and for local office in the towns of Sanford, Vestal, Union and Windsor. (Press & Sun Bulletin op-ed, 11/23/12)


  • Hydraulic Fracturing “Puts U.S. on Path to Surpass Russia” as World’s Largest Natural Gas Producer: In its latest annual forecast, released last week, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) says fracking means the USA will overtake Russia to become the world’s largest natural gas producer by 2015 and pass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by 2017. Longer term, the forecasts get even better. By 2035, the USA could become virtually energy independent. … Inexpensive natural gas has given U.S. manufacturers a competitive edge over foreign factories, helping to revive U.S. industry. (USA Today editorial, 11/22/12)
  • NY Daily News Presses Gov. Cuomo on Safe, Job-Creating Marcellus Production: Gov. Cuomo admits he will blow a deadline for granting the go-ahead for natural gas drilling, called fracking — guaranteeing months of pointless delay. New Yorkers desperate for the economic boost that drilling would unleash have every right to ask: Where the frack has the governor’s political courage gone? (New York Daily News editorial, 11/24/12)
  • “Energy Independence Within Our Reach”: The future for U.S. energy independence looks brighter than ever. A Paris-based energy watchdog predicts the U.S. will become the world’s top producer of oil by 2020, a net exporter of oil around 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035. (Albuquerque Journal editorial, 11/22/12)
  • “Natural-Gas Exports Could Lift U.S. Trade and Economy”: U.S. President Barack Obama has a rising opportunity to make good on two of his central campaign promises: harnessing domestic energy and boosting U.S. exports. By greenlighting exports of liquefied natural gas, Obama can hasten production of an abundant U.S. resource and open a new avenue of international trade. The president can also give growth a much needed jolt: Liquid natural gas exports could add billions to the U.S. economy, create tens of thousands of long- term jobs and help narrow the trade gap. … Exporting natural gas could help reduce climate change. … It would be strange, therefore, not to take advantage of the pent-up global demand for cheap American natural gas. (Bloomberg View editorial, 11/25/12)
  • U.S. Shale Development will Have a “Significant, Widespread Geopolitical” Impact: From a geopolitical perspective, the effects of the US becoming energy self-sufficient will be widespread. … The growth in the shale gas industry has already produced some surprising environmental consequences. … Based on current data, it looks as if the US may now reduce its CO² emissions more rapidly than the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. … Concerns related to fracking have been largely overblown or based on spurious evidence. Verifiable research has yet to find clear evidence of potable underground water near fracking sites being contaminated by the chemicals used in fracking fluids. (Business Day editorial, 11/19/12)

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