Shale the “Most Profound Shift in the Second Decade of the 21st Century”

As Reuters reports today, President Obama “touted the role natural gas had played in cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs” in his annual State of the Union address [full text] last night. The President’s remarks were echoed last week by the United Kingdom’s Prime Minster David Cameron, who said this while addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos: “Just look at what shale gas has done for America – for American firms and American jobs.”

The President’s continued support for the safe development of clean-burning American natural gas was highlighted in these headlines:

  • “Obama touts natural gas in speech” (Politico, 1/28/14)
  • “Natural gas draws praise from Obama” (Pittsburgh Business Times, 1/29/14)
  • “Natural gas big winner in Obama SOTU address” (The Hill, 1/29/14)

And in a statement following the President’s address last night, MSC president Dave Spigelmyer offered this:

President Obama once again underscored the critical and increasing role that America’s abundant, clean-burning natural gas resources continue to play in boosting our economy and growing jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector. … Affordable supplies of oil and natural gas, driven by tightly-regulated shale development, have catapulted America from a period of energy scarcity to a new and more prosperous era of energy abundance. And the results are clear: a plunging trade deficit, stronger geopolitical standing, cleaner air and significant consumer savings.”

Here’s what else they’re saying about the benefits of America’s newfound energy abundance:

  • “Natural gas drilling warms consumers’ wallets”: Baby, it’s cold outside. But inside most people are fortunate enough to be toasty warm — and those who heat their houses with natural gas also have the luxury of knowing that their utility bills will not rise like heat up a chimney. It wasn’t always so. As recently as 10 years ago, cold weather would put a chill in family budgets. What has changed can be summed up in two words, encouraging or controversial, depending on who says them: Marcellus Shale. … The newfound advantages of Marcellus Shale also hold a public policy lesson for this region. Those who would argue for a moratorium on gas drilling, or even an outright ban, are rejecting not just more regional jobs but also advantages to the consumer pocketbook. That is why this newspaper supports a well-regulated gas drilling industry. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial, 1/28/14)
  • “America’s energy revolution transforms international relations”: North America’s energy revolution is remaking all aspects of the global economy and international relations in what has turned out to be the most profound shift in the second decade of the 21st century. … Hydraulic fracturing…has reversed the growing dependence of the United States on energy imports in less than 10 years. … The revolution’s impact has spread far beyond the United States. The U.S. is set to become a significant exporter of natural gas. … At the same time, the U.S. depends less and less on imported energy, especially from outside North America. … The economic impact has been profound. Abundant supplies of cheap domestic energy are now a crucial source of competitive advantage compared with rival economies in Europe and Asia. … Now cheap energy is encouraging talk of bringing some of that manufacturing back. … Just like the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania in the 1850s and the Middle East between the 1920s and 1950s, the North American energy revolution is remaking the world order. (Reuters, 1/28/14)
  • “OPEC producer UAE considers importing North American gas”: The United Arab Emirates, a Gulf OPEC oil producer, said it was looking at the possibility of importing natural gas from North America, in what would be one of the most striking developments since the start of the U.S. shale boom. The United States and Canada are producing record amounts of gas from shale rock formations, pulling down North American prices to levels that have attracted the interest of foreign buyers. (Reuters, 1/27/14)

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