What They’re Saying: American Natural Gas Drives “Economic Growth and Prosperity”

Pittsburgh, Pa. – It’s difficult to go an entire day – or hour – without a reminder of the economic difficulties facing America, especially for the millions looking for work. This week, the Associated Press reports that “As U.S. hiring as declined, so has consumer and business confidence.” The Associated Press also recently reports that “High unemployment isn’t going away” in the United States. These are historically challenging times. For its part, though, America’s natural gas producers – along with a robust supply chain – continue to make critical investments leading to expanded economic growth, private sector job creation and strengthened energy security all while protecting the environment. Here’s what they’re saying.

BUILDING A STRONG, LOCAL WORKFORCE, BETTERING COMMUNITIES

  • Help Wanted: Trucking Jobs Widely Available in the Marcellus: [PGT Trucking Inc. CEO Pat] Gallagher said recent developments with Marcellus shale drilling in the area have created more opportunities for drivers to seize local driving jobs that will have them home every night. “Most people in Beaver County who want a trucking job will have one,” Gallagher said. (Beaver Co. Times, 7/29/12)
  • “Lt. Gov. Cawley says Marcellus Shale Creating Jobs in Blair Co.”: Marcellus Shale natural gas is helping to create family-sustaining jobs in Blair County and across Pennsylvania, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley said today during a tour of New Pig Corporation in Tipton. “Whether it is at one of the drill sites in the southern end of the county or right here at New Pig, Marcellus Shale is creating good, family-sustaining jobs. Governor Tom Corbett and I want to see more of this happen across the state,” said Cawley. Cawley cited recent Department of Labor and Industry statistics showing that 29,000 people are working in the drilling industry in the state with average annual earnings of $81,000. There are about 238,000 people working in related industries. He also noted that natural gas drilling has produced $1.6 billion in state tax revenues since 2006 and helped to reduce energy costs across Pennsylvania. (Release, 7/26/12)
  • “Gas Co. Donation Ensures Safety”: Thanks to one of the companies constructing a pipeline in Dallas Township, Back Mountain emergency personnel have a new tool at their disposal to help respond to calls related to the natural gas industry. PVR Partners, formerly Chief Gathering LLC, recently donated a Polaris Ranger 800EF all-terrain vehicle to Dallas Fire Ambulance Inc. … Mark Van Etten, president of Dallas Fire Ambulance Inc., said the organization has been looking for ways to better equip personnel to respond to natural gas emergencies as the industry continues to move into the area. … PVR Partners Vice President Mark Casaday, a Dallas High School graduate, said it is the company’s policy to aid the communities in which it does business. … “It’s our policy to help out.” (Dallas Post, 7/29/12)
  • Job-Creating Shale Gas Creating “Optimism”: Local business leaders have been enthusiastic in their embrace of fracking. “That’s a long time coming, and that creates optimism,” said Thomas Humphries, president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber. The industry has already created more than a thousand jobs in the region thanks in part to a European company called Vallourec SA, whose VM Star unit will soon begin operating a new $650 million mill to manufacture the steel tubes used in extracting the natural gas. Regional homeowners, meanwhile, are cashing in by selling their mineral rights. (CBS News, 7/24/12)
  • “Marcellus Summer Camp Held at Mansfield University”: The first ever Marcellus Summer Camp was held at Mansfield University July 8 to 10. Twenty-one students in grades 10 to 12 from Tioga, Bradford, Clarion and Indiana counties in Pennsylvania were joined by students from New York State for an introduction to the natural gas industry and possible career paths. Throughout the event, campers were introduced to many of the 150 occupations within the industry and the educational opportunities available in our area. They gained real world knowledge of a well site and had the opportunity to interact with faculty members from various educational institutions as well as industry professionals. … “We were excited to offer high school students the opportunity to explore different career options within the natural gas industry,” Lindsey Sikorski said. (Sun-Gazette, 7/30/12)
  • Shale Gas Helping to Drive “Economic Growth and Prosperity”: Cheap energy is vital to the manufacturing sector, lowering the overall cost of goods which increases consumption. That drives economic growth and prosperity, but it does so without government involvement, direction and stimulus. (Washington Times editorial, 7/27/12)
  • Local University Training Next Generation of Natural Gas Leaders: The Tioga Co. Development Corp. celebrated 21 years of accomplishments with its 19th annual meeting at the university on Monday. … Featured was the [Mansfield] University’s new Marcellus Institute, which was established in February to develop new academic programs focused on expanding the shale gas industry. Since then, the university has developed two degree programs in just a few months. (Sun-Gazette, 7/31/12)

SHALE GAS GENERATING MUCH-NEEDED CONSUMER SAVINGS

  • “Columbia Expects Abundant Supplies” of U.S. Natural Gas, Lower Consumer Prices: In announcing its average budget payment plan amount for 2012-13, the natural gas utility said it foresees abundant supplies of gas that should keep consumers’ costs in check. The utility calculated the average monthly payment at $66 — down $9 a month from last winter and among the lowest amounts of the last decade. … Columbia Gas said plentiful gas supplies have helped drive prices down by more than half in recent years. For example, the August, 2008, projected budget plan amount was $133 a month. (Toledo Blade, 7/31/12)
  • “Columbia to Lower Price for Natural Gas”: Natural gas is plentiful and its price is low, which yesterday brought good news for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers. Columbia yesterday announced rates for its budget-billing customers. For the year starting in August, the average customer will pay $66 per month per household, down $9 from last year. It’s the lowest in more than five years. “We think it’s a really good thing for consumers,” said spokesman Ken Stammen. “Any time you can lower costs, it’s a good thing and a welcome thing.” … Gas prices are low because of the growing supply of energy from U.S.-based shale deposits, among other factors. (Columbus Dispatch, 7/31/12)
  • “More Pa. Drivers Converting to Compressed Natural Gas”: O-Ring CNG Fuel Systems in Punxsutawney has been operating its compressed natural gas station for a year. Compressed natural gas is currently $2 a gallon at that station. Bob Beatty, the founder of the company, believes that using compressed natural gas will continue to become more popular. He predicts that in five years compressed natural gas will not exceed $2.25 a gallon. Beatty said that there is currently an abundance of natural gas, and he believes there is enough in Pennsylvania to last the next 150 years. For Beatty, he said business has been successful. Over the last year he has opened stations in Punxsutawney, Coolspring and Rimbersburg. His Punxsutawney station has about 85 customers. Another station is slated to open near Interstate 80 in Clarion County. (WJAC-TV, 7/31/12)
  • “Columbia: Gas Bills Going Down for” Consumers: Columbia Gas of Ohio says its average budget payment plan for this year has gone down, and is among the lowest rates offered in the last decade. … The company states that abundant new supplies of natural gas have helped drive prices down by more than half in recent years. (WYTV, 7/30/12)
  • More American Natural Gas = More Consumer Savings: Expanded shale gas production is “making it far less expensive for consumers to heat their homes during the winter and power their appliances throughout the year.” (Washington Times editorial, 7/27/12)

JUST THE FACTS ON SAFE SHALE GAS PRODUCTION

  • “Shale ‘Revolution’ Is More Than Hyperbole for Capitol Hill”: Energy policy is being transfigured alongside the energy economy by technology advances that have allowed access to enormous reserves of natural gas. … It is hard to argue with the reality: The American Gas Association says reserves estimates have risen to 2,100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas as of the end of 2011, a century’s worth of supply. … Greater use of natural gas is a stated aim of the Blue Dog Coalition of self-declared fiscally conservative Democrats, and Democratic governors in Colorado and North Carolina have enthusiastically endorsed more natural gas development. (Roll Call op-ed, 7/31/12)
  • Facts Must Prevail Over Scare Tactics: Opposition to fracking increasingly seems to be relying on scare tactics, with activists blithely repeating factoids they like with little effort to check the raw data or even the mainstream press. … They also have the same responsibility to check their facts. As with any industrial activity, hydraulic fracturing of shale should be done in an environmentally responsible fashion, and regulators should monitor emissions. But by making false claims, activists not only damage their own credibility, they distract from actual environmental issues that require amelioration. (U.S. News World Report op-ed, 7/30/12)
  • NY Daily News Columnist Highlights “Hypocrisy of The First Order”: A group of anti-fracking foodies threw an interesting fund-raiser at the Brooklyn Winery last week. … They call themselves Chefs for the Marcellus. Guests were treated to eggplant-stuffed okra, smoked lamb belly with fermented tofu and whipped ricotta jewel on toast — along with wines from the Finger Lakes and beers from Cooperstown’s Ommegang brewery. The only thing more delicious than the menu was the irony, because many if not most of those dishes were cooked over the bright blue flame of natural gas. That’s right, the Chefs for the Marcellus saw nothing wrong with using the very same fuel they portray as a dire threat to the upstate countryside. Plus, there’s all the electricity they needed to refrigerate the okra and air-condition the patrons who had paid $125 a pop. Most of those kilowatts, in New York City, were produced by gas-fired power plants. … But too many anti-frackers are trying to have it both ways — to completely ban the practice in their own backyard, while continuing to take enjoy the food-cooking, house-warming, juice-generating benefits of gas drilled elsewhere. (NY Daily News op-ed, 7/31/12)
  • EPA – Once Again – Confirms Dimock’s Water Quality: EPA announced June 25 that extensive testing of Dimock wells revealed that “there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.” This confirms earlier EPA and Pennsylvania environmental officials’ tests, whose results were denied and decried by natural gas opponents. The silence from these activists on EPA’s latest announcement so far has been deafening. (Forbes.com op-ed, 7/31/12)

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