Domestic Natural Gas to Drive Continued Economic Growth, Environmental Progress

As our country recovers from the global pandemic, affordable energy will be central to returning economic prosperity, driving manufacturing growth, and getting people working again, MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer recently said in an interview with Shale Magazine.

Spigelmyer was featured in two recent podcast series that focused on the state of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Basin. Touching on the downstream opportunities of natural gas, the importance of U.S. energy independence, and providing an outlook on American energy, Spigelmyer underscores natural gas’ role in being the solution to economic, environmental, and natural security concerns.

The interview with the Pennsylvania Business Report can be found here, and the “In the Oil Patch” series featured in Shale Magazine is available online here.

Here are highlights from the two interviews:

Energy Security

Pennsylvania Business Report: “The use of unconventional or horizontal drilling techniques has changed the outlook for domestic natural gas supply for generations to come. We have gone from producing a quarter of Pennsylvania’s supply, to now a quarter of the nation’s supply of natural gas.”

“The unconventional development of energy has not only been a game changer for Americans, but a global game changer.”

“We have gone from a decade ago of being 62% dependent on foreign sources of energy, to today being nearly fully energy secure as a nation. We no longer have to send our men and women in uniform in harm’s way to protect the free-flow supply of oil from our country, because this is not just a natural gas opportunity, it’s also an oil opportunity.”

“Not only is energy necessary for us to sustain the quality of life every day, it also provides the mechanism for us to grow our economy and build jobs for Americans.”

In the Oil Patch: “Having just come through this pandemic, we realize how important it is to produce some of these products at home, and nearly every one of these life sustaining products that we are in short supply of are produced using natural gas. We need to get natural gas to more areas so we can manufacture products here at home and not send that work to China.”

Natural Gas Powers Manufacturing Growth

Pennsylvania Business Report:“I think natural gas development in Pennsylvania is very much in its early innings. I think there’s lots of development that will take place for generations to come, but I think the real opportunity for Pennsylvania will come from the downstream use of natural gas, the abundance and affordability of natural gas, and the opportunities for new manufacturing, jobs and new growth for the communities that haven’t seen it for generations.”

“Let’s face it, in western Pennsylvania, we’ve written an obituary for manufacturing for the last 30 years. We’re now starting to write new birth announcements because of natural gas liquids and natural gas development.”

“Major industrial opportunities like the Shell facility are going to yield downstream or additional manufacturing opportunities made possible by what’s happening in the farthest upstream in natural gas development.”

“Think about the economic opportunity for Pennsylvania. For those employees who are bringing wages home from a personal income tax standpoint, to hotels, restaurants, bars, all the supply chain equipment that’s been purchased and used at that facility. The economic gain that has come has been extraordinary. We have the opportunity to generate not hundreds, but thousands of jobs through the use of natural gas. We use natural gas nearly everything we touch. It’s paints, coatings, steel, glass, tires, plastics, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals – all are huge benefactors for the Commonwealth and job generators.”

Consumer, Environmental Gains

In the Oil Patch: “While there are some who would like to vilify natural gas, I think natural gas is a solution to our environmental issues, not a culprit.”

Pennsylvania Business Report: “There’s probably been no greater process more regulated than hydraulic fracturing.”

“We take every precaution. The structure of a well is structured so that the fresh groundwater levels are fully protected with 5 layers of steel and 4 layers of concrete to protect aquifers, not just in Pennsylvania, but across the country.”

“The benefits have been enormous for consumers especially because consumers are enjoying prices of natural gas that are anywhere from 56% to 72% less from what they were a decade ago, and that’s a real winner for Pennsylvania.”

Energy Outlook

In the Oil Patch: “I am bullish in the fact that affordable energy will be a linchpin to returning economic prosperity to our country.”

“I do think the [economic] slowdown is temporary, I think that natural gas and natural gas liquids will drive the renaissance of return to strong economic growth in our country and certainly here in Western Pa. and the Appalachian region.”

“I talked a little bit about the fact before of the petrochemical hub being built just west of Pittsburgh Airport – A $6 billion dollar investment that will basically take ethane and develop polyethylene pellets. I believe [natural gas] will be the feedstock for new plastics manufacturing here in the north.”