Clean-Burning Natural Gas Powers America

Pittsburgh, Pa. – From more jobs and more affordable energy, to cleaner air, and strengthened national security, natural gas is positively impacting our daily lives and bolstering America’s economic and energy security outlook.

And while huge amounts of natural gas continue to be safely produced, more investments are being made across the nation to leverage these clean-burning resources into more affordable and stable energy supplies for families, consumers and businesses.

This week, in fact, Carroll County Energy LLC announced that it is planning to build a 700-megawatt electric power plant in eastern Ohio that will run on our region’s natural gas. Calling it “the right market and the right location,” the company said the project — an $800-million investment — will create up to 500 construction jobs and 25 to 30 permanent jobs. The plant will employ state-of-the-art gas and steam turbine technology. [Read more about electricity generation from natural gas here].

And in Pennsylvania, natural gas-fired power plants [click here and here] are on the rise, with consumers, local economies and our environment as the top benefactors. And here’s what experts are saying about these consumer benefits, which are directly tied to safe shale development:

Natural gas…could save U.S. consumers $16.5 billion on home energy bills over the course of a year, according to a senior economist at the U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. households might see total savings from lower gas prices of as much as $113 billion a year through 2015, including tack-on effects such as lower product prices and higher wages generated by cheaper fuel, according to energy industry consultants IHS Inc. If consumers end up pocketing more than $100 billion due to low gas prices, it could add a “significant” piece to U.S. gross domestic product growth for 2012 or 2013, said Robert Solow, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who won the 1987 Nobel Prize in economics. “If that figure is right, it’s a substantial amount,” Solow said.

Our nation’s leaders, on a strong bipartisan basis, understand the importance of these natural gas-related benefits. And in a recent speech, President Obama underscored his commitment to natural gas: “We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions. … The bottom line is natural gas is creating jobs. It’s lowering many families’ heat and power bills.”

And common sense investments continue to be made across the nation, including in Pennsylvania, to expand natural gas-powered electricity and consumer access.

  • Colorado: Perhaps a sign of more developments to come, especially related to oil production from the Cline Shale, Mitchell County officials have announced plans to build a natural gas-fired power plant west of Colorado City.
  • Delaware: Construction is underway on a 309-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant on the city’s Garrison industrial tract is under way.
  • Maryland: The new Conowingo natural gas-fueled power plant project is expected to create 600 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs.
  • Michigan: Lansing’s Board of Water and Light on Monday afternoon flipped the switch on its new, $182 million cogeneration power plant that will use natural gas to produce electricity and steam.
  • New Jersey: South Jersey Industries reports that its energy-marketing subsidiary has signed a 15-year contract to supply natural gas to the West Deptford Energy Station, the 738-megawatt power plant under construction in Gloucester County.
  • Virginia: Dominion Virginia Power says a new natural gas-fired plant is the best option and that the station should save almost $1 billion over its expected life, compared with the next best option. It is expected to meet customer demand for more generating capacity beginning in 2016.

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