What They’re Saying About Clean-Burning American Natural Gas

Thanks to responsible shale development, local natural gas supplies are providing affordable, clean-burning energy and driving a “game-changing” manufacturing renaissance.

In fact, according to a recent Pa. Public Utility Commission report, natural gas accounts for a quarter of the state’s power supply and 2.8 million commonwealth customers rely on the clean-burning fuel to heat their homes. Further, emissions from our nation’s power generating sector are at 27-year lows, due in large part to the increasing reliance on natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Here’s what they’re saying about shale’s broad manufacturing, consumer, and environmental benefits:

POWERING A MANUFACTURING REBIRTH

  • Shale Boosting Philadelphia Manufacturing Jobs: Kinder Morgan announced Monday it will buy four product tankers in design and construction at Aker Phila. Shipyard for $568 million. Two ships used to transport petroleum products and crude oil will be delivered in late 2016 and early 2017. Two other tankers will be finished by late 2017. … “We are seeing numerous opportunities in our core pipelines and terminals businesses as the demand for midstream transportation and storage services continues to grow,” Kinder Morgan president and CEO Steve Kean said. (Phila. Inq. 8/11/15)
  • “Pipelines are Lifelines” to Good Jobs: Kinder Morgan has promised that the NED project will be 100 percent union-made and will create as many as 3,000 jobs along its route. The laborers are looking forward to that work, which could net them as much as $50 per hour including benefits, but they are just as eager for what will come when the pipeline is complete. Along with billions of cubic feet of natural gas, they see cheaper energy prices spurring growth, and perhaps a statewide boom in the kind of large-scale private construction projects that are the union’s lifeblood. … In LiUNA’s many eyes, the Kinder Morgan pipeline and its competitors’ projects represent guaranteed jobs and decades more work in the various ancillary fields that they will spawn. (Lowell Sun, 8/9/15)
  • Natural Gas has “Been a Game-Changer for Our Region”: “This is going to be a game-changer for us,” said [Tony] Amadio, chairman of the Beaver Co. commissioners. … “If it goes the way we think, we’ll see an economic explosion we haven’t seen around here since the early 1900s.” … “We’ve been told it would bring opportunities for a manufacturing renaissance for all of us in the region” … The facility would require a workforce of 400 to 500 on-site. Regional supply chain industries may realize the biggest bonanza: an estimated 16,000 to 18,000 jobs. And, a complex of this type could draw new industries and businesses within a 75-mile radius. “This could be a tremendous opportunity for everyone in Southwestern Pa.,” said Don Chappel, executive director of Greene Co. Industrial Developments Inc. … “This project would have never been of interest to a company like Shell if it were not for the tremendous opportunities the energy industry has brought to our region over the past decade. …The energy industry, and natural gas in particular, have been a game-changer for our region” [said Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington Co. Chamber of Commerce]. (Observer Reporter, 8/8/15)

STRENGTHENS COMMUNITIES, CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES

  • PSU Engineering Student: Shale Presents “Myriad of Economic Benefits”: Western Pa. is under the hand of an incredible energy revolution. … Operators are producing an incredible amount of oil, condensate and natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. … It’s a no-brainer — let’s band together, support Shell’s cracker plant and spur the creation of thousands of jobs. It’s all about keeping things local. (Tribune-Review letter, 8/11/15)
  • West Penn Power Investment Enables Shale Infrastructure Growth: West Penn Power is spending about $3 million to build a transmission line in Washington County to support a compressor station … that will move natural gas from Robinson Twp. “The Marcellus Shale gas industry continues to generate jobs and bring new development opportunities to western Pa.,” said West Penn Power President David McDonald. “This project is part of the work we are doing to help enhance our electrical system to help us meet the growing demand for safe and reliable electric service now and in the future.” (Pittsburgh Business Times, 8/10/15)
  • Abundant, Affordable Natural Gas Service Extended to Local Homes: Pa.’s top utility regulator wants to see more natural gas companies extend service to neighborhoods that are missing out on cheap Marcellus Shale gas. “When I’ve gone to a lot of the drilling sites, you’re passing all these houses and these people don’t have access to the natural gas they’re sitting on,” PUC Chair Gladys Brown. … The commission has started a pilot program with three utilities to extend gas service to homes. (Tribune-Review, 8/8/15)
  • Greene Co.’s Cumberland Twp. Tops Municipal Impact Fees List: Marcellus Shale gas put the 39-square-mile Cumberland Twp. in Greene Co. back on the map. For the second time since Act 13 was passed in 2012, the twp. became the top municipality for impact fees in Pa. In July, the Cumberland Twp. board of supervisors received a check for $918,147. … The twp. supervisors have appropriated money for various projects allowed under Act 13’s 13 categories of use, but kept $1.4 million in the township’s legacy fund. … The drilling has also been a boon to Marcellus landowners in the twp. The highest paying well, Hart Unit 10H, which has been online since July 2012, paid $ 25,650 in royalties this year. (Pa. Business Central, 8/7/15)
  • “We’ve Been Blessed” with Shale Tax Revenues: Over the past four years, PUC has collected and distributed more than $855 million in impact fees to counties, municipalities, selected state agencies and the Marcellus Legacy Fund. … In July, the PUC sent Washington Co. a check for $6,512,570 … Bradford Co. came in a close second with $6,424,792. … “The increase in impact fees for our county was largely due to more drilling, but also because drillers got more money for wet gas last year,” said Washington Co. Commissioner Larry Maggi. … “We’ve been blessed with natural resources and with good economic times. … ”Last year, we used some of our impact dollars for a new HVAC system for the courthouse,” said Susquehanna Co. Commissioner MaryAnn Warren. … “We have a modern system that uses natural gas that’s being extracted right beneath us, which is also being utilized by homes and businesses throughout Montrose Boro.” … Although the entire county has fewer residents than State College, Pa., the gas industry has provided both direct and indirect jobs for residents. … “Cabot Oil & Gas contributed $2.5 million to Lackawanna College, which has an oil & gas school in New Milford Township, so we’re now training the next generation of gas workers.” (Pa. Business Central, 8/7/15)
  • Shale Impact Tax Fees Keep Community Dock Afloat: Armstrong Co. officials want to help keep the Freeport Community Dock afloat, financially, with a $2,500 contribution. The county commissioners unanimously approved the donation Thursday to help the Freeport Renaissance Association pay down a $10,000 debt it incurred to build the handicapped accessible dock along the Allegheny River. … The money comes from the county’s Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund, which state gives to counties from natural gas taxes to fund environmental initiatives. Armstrong Co. received $60,000 in Marcellus Shale legacy funding this year and has about $52,000 left … “We’re really hoping this dock becomes an asset to our community and attracts a lot of boat traffic. We want to see people come off the river to come into town to shop and eat.” (Tribune-Review, 8/7/15)

CLEAN-BURNING POWER SOURCE

  • Lancaster Co. Power Plant to Burn Clean, Local Natural Gas: Brunner Island power plant on the edge of Lancaster Co. is adding cleaner-burning natural gas to its generation of electricity. … Talen Energy of Allentown says it will spend $100 million to add natural gas to help drive its three generators, which provide enough power to light up about 1 million residential homes. … Talen intends to build a 3-mile gas pipeline to tap into an interstate natural gas transmission line. … “The real driver behind this project is the long term sustainability of that plant and 200 jobs. … We’ve been making ongoing investments at that plant.” … Burning of natural gas emits almost no sulfur dioxide. … Pa. has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 15% in the last decade. (Lancaster Online, 8/10/15)
  • Clean-Burning, Affordable Natural Gas Vehicles: Blue Star Gas is working to convert its 55 vehicles to run on the same stuff they deliver. … UPS already has more than a thousand propane-powered delivery trucks on the street. … The change is propelled by a glut of propane from shale wells. It comes as prices for the fuel trade close to a 13-year low and are 75% cheaper than diesel. At the same time, propane offers an environmental gain, emitting 12% less carbon dioxide than gasoline. … “Right now we’re in a period where there are significant savings to propane in many applications.” … Propane production has ramped up as a result of a drilling boom that targets shale formations. Much of one of the largest formations in the U.S., the Marcellus, is known as a “wet gas play” because gas extracted from the rock is often accompanied by liquids, including propane, butane and ethane. The production has been so robust that companies have stored 89 million barrels of propane they couldn’t immediately use. … Last year UPS bought 1,000 autogas delivery trucks that are now on the road. … Mike Casteel, head of fleet procurement, said the company plans to buy about 150 more. … “Our adoption of natural gas and propane really took a leap forward as a result of the natural gas production” (Bloomberg, 8/4/15)

LOCAL BENEFITS THREATENED BY HIGHER ENERGY TAXES

  • Pennsylvanians Deserve the Facts: The fact is much of the revenues from Wolf’s higher energy tax proposal will be reinvested to support wind and solar projects and making government bigger by beefing up funding for state agencies. Additionally, Pa.’s current natural gas impact tax has generated more than $850 million for local communities since 2012. … McKean Co. has received nearly $4.1 million in natural gas impact taxes for use on local infrastructure and community betterment projects, to name a few. … Plans for even higher energy taxes directly jeopardize the future of this critical local revenue source by sending the funds back to Harrisburg for redistribution and not likely benefiting McKean Co. … The Commonwealth cannot afford a massive energy tax increase that will cost Pa. jobs and jeopardize shale’s broad consumer and manufacturing benefits. If we get the energy equation right and encourage continued responsible shale development, we can ensure prosperity for all Pennsylvanians. (Bradford Era letter, 8/11/15)
  • Even Higher Energy Taxes Jeopardize Jobs: Responsible shale development is driving a petrochemical rebirth, specifically at Marcus Hook. Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 pipeline is expected to support an estimated 30,000 construction jobs, generate nearly $62 million in tax revenues, and provide $4.2 billion in economic activity. In addition to the more than $2.3 billion in taxes paid by the natural gas industry since 2008, Pa. imposes a shale-gas impact tax that’s generated more than $850 million since 2012 for communities throughout the commonwealth. We need tax policies that encourage responsible shale development and expanded natural gas uses, not policies that squander opportunity. (Phila. Inq. letter, 8/10/15)

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