A Clean Energy Economy Starts with Natural Gas

Natural gas is a vital component in supporting the growth of our nation’s clean energy economy, MSC’s David Spigelmyer testified during a House hearing earlier today.

Spigelmyer urged the House Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade and Entrepreneurship to think of natural gas as they consider how to support small business innovation for the 21st century.

“Supporting a thriving natural gas industry – from production to pipeline deployment to its growth in electric generation – should be a core focus of any public policy discussions aimed at building upon the progress our industry has realized for Pennsylvania and the nation.”

Highlighting the clean air progress that has been achieved in recent decades, Spigelmyer noted, “This is not despite the shale revolution, but rather because of it.”

Click here to read Spigelmyer’s full testimony; highlights include:

Shale Revolution

“With the innovation that has enabled access to deep shale formations in the Appalachian Basin, our region has experienced tremendous job growth, and the natural gas we are producing in Pennsylvania has driven unprecedented environmental gains that are enhancing air quality and making clean energy more affordable for the small businesses that need it. Furthermore, natural gas is the ideal fuel to provide the necessary backup required for interruptible sources of renewable energy to contribute to our electric grid.”

Job Growth

“In Pennsylvania alone, our industry supports over 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributes $45 billion to our state’s economy, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. From Pennsylvania’s labor community that celebrates bustling union halls at full employment, to new members being trained – jobs are being generated to modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure. Our building trades are constructing new power generation facilities, fractionators, pipelines and a world-class petrochemical complex west of Pittsburgh in Beaver County.

There are also countless small business owners whose entrepreneurial spirit has seized the opportunities presented by this industry. In our state’s agricultural sector, proceeds from natural gas development have saved family farms.Indeed, natural gas has provided a rising employment and economic tide that has lifted us all.”

Consumer Savings

“As the shale industry advances, Pennsylvania ratepayers have witnessed historic reductions in natural gas commodity prices that have been a major economic driver for small business across the state. Natural gas commodity prices for end-use customers are down 56% – 76% since 2008, and wholesale electric prices in PJM are down 41% since 2008, saving the average household between $1,200 and $2,500 annually, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. For small businesses operating on thin profit margins, these savings are even more significant, allowing them either to reinvest in their businesses or hire more workers.”

Air Quality Achievements

“Thanks to innovations in technology, tightening environmental performance standards and increased use of natural gas, in Pennsylvania, carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power generation sector, where natural gas is playing a bigger role than ever before, are down 30% since 2005 (through 2015).

Nationally, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2017 total greenhouse gas emissions across the United States reached their lowest levels in 25 years, propelling the U.S. to the world leader in CO2 emissions reductions. This is not despite the shale revolution but rather because of it.”

Clean Energy Economy

“Without a doubt, any conversation about clean energy must be grounded in the partnership that will make its future possible. Supporting a thriving natural gas industry – from production to pipeline deployment to its growth in electric generation – should be a core focus of any public policy discussions aimed at building upon the progress our industry has realized for Pennsylvania and the nation.”


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