Clean Natural Gas Keeping U.S. Households Warm

As historically low temperatures grip the nation, half of American households are relying on affordable and abundant natural gas to heat their homes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And adjusting the thermostat – and keeping one’s family warm – is now more affordable. New Boston Consulting Group research projects that consumers may save as much as $1,200 a year in energy costs thanks to responsible shale development, all while driving down emissions.

To be sure, natural gas is not only keeping us warm from the blistering cold, it is also providing significant boost for our country as a whole. And thanks to safe, tightly-regulated development, our nation’s economic growth is accelerating, tens of thousands of good-paying jobs are being created, and our manufacturing sector is coming roaring back.

  • BOLSTERING ENERGY SECURITY: “Pa. Key Player in U.S. Energy Renaissance”:The outlook for natural gas is a very big one,” said James Stevenson, an energy analyst at Colorado-based IHS. … Marcellus shale-rich Pennsylvania, which EIA last month called the fastest-growing gas-producing state, plays a key role in the energy market. … Ten years after Fort Worth-based Range Resources first tapped the Marcellus, the industry and state are at a crossroads looking at what to do with all the gas and byproducts, Hoffman and Forde said. … Royal Dutch Shell appears increasingly likely to build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant in Beaver County that would use byproducts from gas produced here. DTE Energy, a Detroit-based electric and natural gas utility, invested heavily in the Bluestone Gathering System and pipelines in Pennsylvania and New York, and proposes a $1.5 billion pipeline stretching from Western Pennsylvania to Michigan and Ontario. “Pennsylvania is a very attractive place to be,” said David Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer at DTE. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 1/4/14)
  • POWERING OUR NATION: “Natural Gas a Real Game Changer”: About 135,000 natural gas vehicles are on the road in the U.S. … Frito-Lay North America Inc., Proctor & Gamble Co. and United Parcel Service Inc. are among the companies expanding their natural gas fleets. Trucking companies such as Ryder System Inc. are increasing their number of natural gas vehicles as well … Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos. got into natural gas in 2012, initially running natural gas trucks on a few routes in California, Texas and Florida, said Steve Palmer. … There are plans underway to switch its trucks to natural gas at all 15 regional distribution centers by 2017. Palmer said it’s a proactive measure against volatile energy markets. … “We think it’s a strategy to help control fuel costs over time.” Breakthroughs in engine technology enable natural gas trucks to haul bigger loads over longer distances with fewer stops to fuel up. “Technology has made natural gas a real game changer,” said Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica. (LA Times, 1/2/14)
  • BOOSTING MANUFACTURING: LNG Cascades Across Supply Chain: This month, Lockheed crews at Michoud will put the finishing touches on the first fruits of that investment: a 90-foot-long, pill-shaped, stainless steel liquefied natural gas fuel tank. … Rob Smith, vice president for Lockheed Martin, said there is more work where that came from. The U.S. shale drilling boom has led to cheap and abundant natural gas. Low prices and tightening emissions standards have prompted more U.S. companies to consider building ships, trucks and trains fueled by natural gas. Multibillion-dollar plans for plants to produce, store and ship LNG are springing up across the country. … “It’s all the things you want to see: U.S. jobs, energy independence, manufacturing, infrastructure and cost competitiveness,” Smith said. … Lockheed officials predicted the Wartsila contract could create up to 166 direct jobs and another 236 support positions at Michoud over the next several years. … Smith said Lockheed is already taking a hard look at ramping up a second manufacturing line in order to meet demand. … “The interactions we’ve had with customers have been exciting,” Smith said. “We do work everyday for national security. We do things that we think are important and make a difference.” (Times-Picayune, 1/3/14)

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