What They’re Saying: “Shale Gas is Transforming America’s Energy Future”

Pittsburgh, Pa. – There’s a “shale gas revolution” underway in America, as GE CEO Jeff Immelt underscored yesterday, leading to more affordable energy for consumers struggling with persistently high unemployment, more jobs here at home – especially in the manufacturing sector – and strengthened U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. And most importantly, this development is being done in a way that protects and enhances our environment, all within a tight and effective regulatory framework. Here’s what they’re saying:

AMERICAN ENERGY COMPETITIVENESS, SECURITY

  • “Shale Gas Making the U.S. a Manufacturing Magnet”: With cheap shale gas making the United States a magnet for industrial companies like Voestalpine, many economists are positing a return to industrialization for the world’s biggest economy after more than a decade of consumption-led growth. “America is currently seeing a renaissance of production,” said Felix Schuler, a partner at Boston Consulting Group. … “The idea that energy costs in North America would always be more expensive no longer holds true. The new reality is that natural gas has turned that equation on its head,” Peter Loescher, CEO of Siemens, said. … U.S. companies including GE and Boeing are also starting to bring back home some of the jobs they had moved abroad to cut costs, helped by the availability of cheap shale gas. … Lower energy and feedstock prices help narrow the production cost gap with countries such as China to make exports more competitive. (Reuters, 3/26/13)
  • NBC News: Shale Benefits “Ripple Through U.S. Economy”: The boom in new oil and natural gas flowing through U.S. pipelines is beginning to ripple through the wider American economy. … Marlin Steel Wire has expanded its payroll and invested in high-tech equipment to keep up with a steady pick-up in orders from other U.S. manufacturers. Orders are rising, said owner Drew Greenblatt, because his customers are receiving a widening discount in the price of natural gas and electricity. “That’s making U.S. companies that used to be at a price disadvantage now uniquely positioned to win contracts they never won in the past — or haven’t for a while,” he said. “It’s filtering down now to conventional factories throughout America.” Some analysts believe the energy cost savings for businesses, factories and consumers will last for decades. “This is not going to be a one- or two-year thing,” said Ross Eisenberg, head of energy and resources policy at NAM. … Steel makers benefit from both the lower cost of manufacturing and from strong demand for steel pipe used for oil and gas drilling. Companies in the steel rustbelt of Pennsylvania and Ohio are polishing up aging plants to replace coal with cheaper natural gas. … Chemical, plastics and fertilizer makers, who rely on natural gas both as a raw material and an energy source, have also been expanding production. … Economists with UBS bank tallied some $65 billion in announced construction of new plants related to cheaper natural gas, and said another 11 plants had been announced worth billions more. (NBC News, 3/25/13)
  • “Shale Gas is Transforming America’s Energy Future”: North America’s on-going shale gas revolution can lead even an experienced executive like Stephen Pryor to speak in extremes. “The world is on the cusp of a new age of unconventional energy,” Pryor, president of global plastics and chemicals giant ExxonMobil. “It is transforming America’s energy future, unleashing economic growth and improving the environment.” “It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in this country since the dawning of the age of oil, some 150 years ago in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region.” … U.S. oil and gas reserves have increased 50 percent since 2005. The country now is estimated to have enough shale gas reserves to last 100 years. And, according to Pryor, this growth was accomplished by “private enterprises and innovative entrepreneurs…not a government policy that picked winners and losers.” “Five years ago, the U.S. was on the verge of being a net energy importer,” he said. “Growing supplies of natural gas changed that.” (Plastics News, 3/27/13)
  • Natural Gas: “Cheap, Plentiful and Cleaner”: The world increasingly is turning to [natural] gas to help meet immense growth in overall global energy demand. And the way US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil sees it, there are some very simply reasons for the rise of gas. It is plentiful, cost competitive, versatile and, in a world increasingly focused on carbon emissions, it is a much cleaner fuel than coal for power generation. … The U.S. experience with shale gas has delivered cheaper gas prices in that market and raised the prospect of the US becoming a leading exporter of liquefied natural gas. (The Australian, 3/25/13)
  • Lehigh Gas, Clean Energy Fuels to Open 20 CNG Stations Across the Northeast: Allentown’s Lehigh Gas Partners plans to open up to 20 publicly accessible compressed natural gas fueling locations over the next five years, the company announced Monday. Lehigh Gas dipped its toe in the natural gas fueling industry in September, cutting the ribbon on its second and third natural gas fueling stations outside Philadelphia. … Lehigh Gas will partner with Clean Energy Fuels, the nation’s largest provider of natural gas for transportation, to identify appropriate locations for up to 20 future stations. Those stations will serve mostly regional compressed natural gas fleets of shuttles, taxis and small to mid-sized trucks. (Allentown Morning Call, 3/25/13)
  • Wilbur Ross: Shale Gas Bringing Manufacturing Back to U.S., Helping Consumers: “These shale reserves…could revolutionize the chemical industry, the plastics industry, the fertilizer industry, even the steel industry. And it bring things back to the U.S. because it gives us a huge competitive advantage from an energy cost point of view. … Shale gas is much cheaper. So one of the reasons there hasn’t been a shock in electric bills and one of the reasons that the one percent withholding increase that when in January hasn’t destroyed consumers is that shale gas has been bringing down electric bills.” (Fox Business News, 3/26/13)
  • “Shale Gas Boom Pushing Pipeline Growth, Report Shows”: More than half of the country’s newest gas transmission pipelines are in the Northeast, where more are coming online to ship Marcellus shale gas to market, federal data released this week show. Pipeline companies spent $1.1 billion on three transmission lines running through Western Pennsylvania — projects from Dominion Resources Inc., EQT Corp. and Spectra Energy Corp., according to the federal Energy Information Administration. That is more than half of the nearly $2 billion spent nationally in 2012, when spending fell to average levels after a four-year spike. … “Natural gas production in the Marcellus shale formation continues to drive Northeast regional pipeline expansions,” the update stated. (Tribune-Review, 3/27/13)
  • IMF: Safe U.S. Shale Gas Development Shaking “Up Global Energy Markets”: A strong rebound in gas and then oil production in the United States over the past few years has taken markets and policymakers by surprise. As a result, natural gas prices in the United States are at a 20-year low. … It is already widely accepted that the availability of shale gas resources has fundamentally changed the outlook for natural gas as a source of energy. (IMF Research, 3/13)
  • Responsible Natural Gas Development a “Substantial Return of Wealth to the American Consumer”: As groundbreaking on these projects gets under way, the dividends from the energy boom will flow even further – to construction companies, engineering firms, materials and equipment suppliers and lenders who help finance the projects. That, in turn, will help shore up state and federal budgets. The added revenue – from income taxes on new jobs created, corporate taxes on added oil and gas profits and state and federal royalty payments – could top $2.5 trillion through 2035, according to IHS. Though prices at the gas pump have remained stubbornly high — primarily because stepped-up U.S. production makes up relatively small percentage of the global supply, which drives oil prices — American households are also getting a big break on the lower cost of natural gas and electricity. Larson, the IHS economist, estimated that the energy “dividend” amounts to about $1,000 a year per household and will double by 2035. “It’s a fairly substantial return of wealth to the American consumer,” he said. Increased U.S. oil and natural gas production also promises to help rebalance the long-running trade gaps that have weakened the dollar. (NBC News, 3/25/13)

LOCAL JOB CREATION, ECONOMIC GROWTH

  • “Finally Some Good Employment News for Blair Co.”: Finally some good employment news for Blair County. Marcellus GTL has announced it will establish a natural gas to liquids facility in the area. Congressman Bill Shuster says that natural gas is revitalizing Pennsylvania’s economy and providing exciting new opportunities for companies like Marcellus GTL to invest in the  region, provide cleaner energy and good jobs for the area. … Current estimates are that the project will create 200 jobs during the construction phase with 25-30 primary jobs and 60 spin-off jobs. (WRTA, 3/22/13)
  • “These Are The Kind of Jobs You Can Take a Mortgage Out On”: A private company will spend $200 million to build a gas-to-liquids processing plant in Blair County. Marcellus GTL LLC of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, will build its first Clean Energy Center near the Duncansville intersection of Route 764 and Old Route 22. The Clean Energy Center will take natural gas and produce about 84,000 gallons per day of regular gasoline and propane to be marketed locally as transportation fuel and for heating uses. … “This will be the first of its kind of facility in the country. These are the kind of jobs you can take a mortgage out on,” said John Rich Jr., Marcellus GTL president and CEO. In addition to the full-time positions at the plant, it is estimated that there will be an additional 60 secondary jobs and a peak of 120 construction jobs during the two-year development and construction period. (Altoona Mirror, 3/23/13)
  • Delaware Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant to “Use Union Labor for the Entire Project”: Construction of a 309 megawatt natural-gas-fired power plant on the city’s Garrison industrial tract is beginning to get under way, a construction manager hired by energy firm Calpine reported Monday. … The project is transitioning from its engineering phase to its building stages, though substantial work and construction hiring aren’t likely to come until next spring, said site manager Eugene Wiley Jr. of Kvaerner. … Wiley said he expects to employ about 100 workers by the end of the year. Employment will peak next spring at around 250 jobs during assembly of the plant’s heavy equipment. … Kvaerner plans to use union labor for the entire project, Wiley said. Some will likely come from Philadelphia and Baltimore. (News Journal, 3/25/13)
  • “A Major Economic Development” for Central Pa.: A major economic development was announced in Altoona today when Marcellus GTL, LLC, told a packed conference room that Blair County was selected as the location for a new natural gas processing company. … According to the company, the project will result in the creation of 30 new family-sustaining wage positions for the region. It is estimated that, in addition to the full time positions, an additional 60 secondary jobs will be created. Construction of the plant will result in at least 120 jobs, as well. (Pa. Business Central, 3/22/13)
  • “Natural Gas Plant Planned for Region”: A new natural gas processing plant coming to the region will be a direct result of the growing Marcellus Shale drilling industry. … The property is to be the site of a $200 million natural gas processing plant that supporters say will reduce the need for imported oil. The project calls for building a conversion process plant that will take natural gas, convert it into methanol, and then convert the methanol into gasoline and propane. … The project calls for a permanent workforce of about 30 and several dozen related secondary jobs including supply, transportation and construction jobs. (WTAJ-TV, 3/23/13)
  • Natural Gas Processing Plant to Create to Create “30 Permanent Jobs, 100 Construction Jobs”: A new gas-to-liquid processing plant is expected to be up and running in Blair County by 2015, a $200 million investment in a region that doesn’t have shale gas of its own but still wants a piece of the industry. Marcellus GTL LLC of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, announced last week it would begin construction on the plant in Duncansville later this year. The facility, called a Clean Energy Center and the first of its kind, will process natural gas to produce about 84,000 gallons of gasoline and propane per day. … The plant is expected to create about 30 permanent jobs and 100 construction jobs, said Matthew Fox, marketing manager at the Altoona-Blair County Development Corp. (Post-Gazette, 3/26/13)

TRAINING OUR NEXT GENERATION

  • Workforce Training School Growing to Meet Marcellus Demands: Governor Tom Corbett toured the expansion work happening at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology Tuesday morning. … CPI said it needs more space for a growing demand for job training programs at its facility in Pleasant Gap. One of the hottest curriculums is diesel technology and transportation. The school has been teaching it since the 1970s, but the new boom is fueled by the Marcellus shale industry. (WJAC-TV, 3/26/13)
  • “Centre Co. is Ahead of the Curve” in Preparing Local Pennsylvanians for Marcellus Careers: Gov. Tom Corbett said he wants to develop jobs for the future, and Centre County is ahead of the curve. That is what he told a small group of business owners, politicians and county leaders at the new Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology facility that will allow the school to vastly expand its natural gas and transportation training programs. … “We’ve been talking about developing the workforce for the 21st century,” Corbett said, adding that many of the programs at CPI, like diesel and heavy equipment operators and truck drivers, are what is needed. David Van Buskirk, CPI director of business and development, said a new building will allow for the school to triple the size of its natural gas and transportation programs, which are in high demand. (Centre Daily Times, 3/27/13)
  • Fostering Local Natural Gas Careers: Governor Corbett delivered a two million dollar check in Centre County today. It is for the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology to use for its expansion project of more training. Much of the growth is tied to the new natural gas industry jobs. The Governor says the school’s construction area is the future for workforce training. (WWCP-TV, 3/26/13)

Have questions about the safe development of clean-burning American natural gas? Please visit LearnAboutShale.org. And for updates, follow us on Twitter (@MarcellusGas) and like our Facebook page.

 

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