Thanksgiving is a time to gather, celebrate and share our appreciation with family and friends. This year, we have much to be grateful for, including the clean, domestic natural gas that’s moving us forward.
Here’s the top 5 natural gas benefits we’re all thankful for:
- Clean Air Progress
- Economic Growth & Strong Communities
- Manufacturing Revival
- Home Energy Savings
- American Energy Security
The United States continues to realize major environmental gains thanks in large part to clean-burning natural gas. The annual EPA air quality report, released in August, noted a 73% decrease in six key pollutants since 1990, while “the U.S. economy continued to grow, Americans drove more miles and population and energy use increased.” We’ve seen these important benefits while production and use of American shale gas have dramatically increased.
Pennsylvania’s generational opportunity lies right under our feet. The energy produced here is reshaping our economic landscape while driving investment and job growth in the area. Abundant Marcellus and Utica shale gas has the power to propel our economy forward; a recent study concluded that smart energy policies could lead to the creation of 100,000+ jobs and $60 billion in GDP growth.
What’s more, each one of the 67 counties across the commonwealth benefits from the state’s unique natural gas tax, called the impact fee. This year alone, the natural gas impact fee generated nearly $210 million, with revenues funding farmland preservation, open space conservation, local parks, hiking trails and playgrounds, and key water, sewer, road and bridge improvements.
The safe, local development of natural gas has positioned the commonwealth as a competitive location for expanding manufacturers looking to expand, bringing new investment and jobs along with them. Manufacturing projects are popping up across Pennsylvania, including the multi-billion-dollar Shell petrochemical facility under construction in Beaver County, which currently employs 3,000 people with plans to add 3,000 more, including many union jobs.
As production continues to increase and critical energy infrastructure is built, our region can expect sustained growth in manufacturing – and the good-paying jobs that come with it.
Nearly half of all U.S. households rely on natural gas for heat, and as we enter the long winter months, families will continue to see energy savings. The average Pennsylvania household saves $1,200 annually on energy thanks to low-cost, locally produced natural gas, according to an MSC analysis of PUC state data. With the ongoing build out of infrastructure and natural gas fueled power plants, the number of Pennsylvanians with access to a reliable supply of affordable energy will only grow.
As the world’s top producer of natural gas and petroleum, America is more energy secure and our geopolitical standing is boosted abroad. In the words of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, America is “delivering freedom around the world, not just gas.”
By increasing LNG exports, for example, the U.S. can realize both economic and geopolitical gains, while offering European allies a competitive and safe alternative to Russian supplies. What’s more, clean, reliable and affordable natural gas will be key in reducing energy poverty around the world.
And finally, we are grateful for our 200+ members companies – and the tens of thousands of hard-working men and women they employ – who are committed to the responsible development and delivery of the Pennsylvania energy that is moving our state forward.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.
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