Clean and safe natural gas production is finally within reach for Western Maryland—and all of the benefits that come with it.
Here’s the catch. Our lawmakers are under pressure from anti-energy groups to ban natural gas production in our state. If they succeed, we will never realize the jobs and economic benefits that Maryland energy development promises.
We can take a stand for the future of Maryland natural gas development, but we have to work together. That’s why we’re starting out by arming local Energy Citizens with the facts.
1. Savings—Locally produced natural gas will help make heating and electricity more affordable for Maryland households, schools, businesses, hospitals, and others.
2. Jobs and Economic Growth – Western Maryland natural gas production will create thousands of good paying Maryland jobs, add hundreds of million more dollars to the state’s economy, and generate millions of dollars in public revenues to improve schools and government services.
3. Environmental Progress—Economic growth and clean air go hand in hand because of natural gas. We have already lowered carbon emissions to 25-year lows, and Baltimore, in particular, has seen huge improvements in air quality.
4. Safety—Natural gas production, through hydraulic fracturing, has a proven safety record and Maryland will have the strictest set of regulations in the country.
As soon as Maryland lawmakers turn to this issue, we’ll be asking you to raise your voices. Keep an eye out for more information from us in the meantime.
Here is one of many reasons Florida depends on affordable American energy: Our families save an average of $1,300 on energy costs every year.
But now politicians in Tallahassee are under pressure from anti-energy groups to ban hydraulic fracturing in our state. This would set a terrible precedent that could impact the availability of affordable oil and natural gas for all Florida families and businesses.
To grow our economy and maintain our quality of life, we need to ensure that energy supplies can reach us reliably and affordably well into the future. That’s why it’s critical that Michiganders recognize the need for current and expanded energy infrastructure.
Michigan’s Antrim Shale is the source of some of our oil and natural gas, but ultimately we must bring in most of our energy from other areas. We are an intensive user of energy, not only because of our cold winters, but also because of our strong manufacturing sector.
Every business needs power—and for some businesses, the price of energy can be the difference between success and failure. Auto, chemical, glass, and paper manufacturing—all strong industries in Michigan—use a lot of power. For these industries to continue thriving, they need dependable fuel supplies made possible by sufficient energy infrastructure.
In addition, chemical manufacturing depends on natural gas and petroleum products as building blocks. Without adequate energy infrastructure, we could see chemical companies looking at expansion opportunities—out of state.
The elections, as well as post-election discussions, have brought renewed focus on the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This year, we’re likely to see increased federal support for building and improving roads, bridges, airports, and rail. Pipelines and other energy infrastructure should also be on the table.
Energy infrastructure investment will come from the private sector—so no taxpayer dollars will be needed. But for these projects to move forward, we need the support of local, state, and federal officials. The engaged voices of Michigan Energy Citizens can help make it happen.
Increased production of U.S. oil and natural gas has added stability to world markets, exerting downward pressure on prices and reducing the influence of less-stable producing regions.
Heating and electricity costs are also down, providing breathing room in family budgets and giving a competitive edge to U.S. businesses, whose manufacturing costs are now 10 to 20 percent lower than those of many international competitors.
But we can’t just coast on our success. America’s status as a world energy superpower can either grow or wither based on specific policy choices.
As Gerard points out, for the energy revolution to continue, our nation needs to embrace policies that will further encourage oil and gas production. These include allowing oil and exploration off of Virginia’s coast, creating opportunities to build new pipelines and other energy infrastructure, reforming or ending the ethanol mandate, and not imposing burdensome new restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.
Pursuing these policies will ensure that American energy production remains strong for years to come. That’s good news for Virginians and everyone else in the United States.
Pennsylvania is at the center of the energy renaissance. Our commonwealth has become a leader in the American production of natural gas. Now it’s time for us to invest in the infrastructure to keep this renaissance going. That means supporting new pipelines across Pennsylvania.
Mike Butler, executive director of Consumer Energy Alliance Mid-Atlantic, wrote a very compelling letter to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about how a proposed pipeline project will benefit our state:
By permitting the Mariner East II project, Pennsylvania will see an influx of private investment, tax dollars and much-needed job creation. It represents a $3 billion investment in Pennsylvania’s economy, creating more than 30,000 jobs during construction and up to 400 permanently upon operation.
Access to affordable, reliable natural gas means lower energy costs for families, more opportunity for businesses and valuable raw materials for farmers, construction, cars and other products made locally. Because of this, homeowners, retirees, businesses and those living on fixed incomes will enjoy lower utility prices.
Anti-energy activists have made stopping the Mariner East II project one of their highest goals. If they succeed, it will bolster their efforts to shut down oil and gas production here. Energy Citizens need to make every effort to support this important pipeline. It’s a vital project for our commonwealth’s energy future.
Protestors are out to block another liquefied natural gas project – this time two new storage tanks in Somerset, MA – but the Fall River Herald News is not backing their plan. In the op-ed piece, Our View: A new LNG proposal floated in Somerset, they encourage the anti-LNG crowd to wake up and smell the coffee:
The reality is that the region’s energy supply is insufficient for its needs and natural gas from the shale fields of Pennsylvania is inexpensive and plentiful. Meanwhile, Somerset’s Brayton Point Power Station — the town’s largest taxpayer and New England’s largest electricity producer — is expected to close in 2017.
The Herald News editors go on to point out that Somerset officials – reasonably so – see this proposal as “a golden opportunity to revive the energy industry, which has long been the key part of the town’s tax base, and recoup some of its revenue losses coming from the closure of the town’s power plants.”
Things are no different in other New England communities. The entire region needs the natural gas that pipelines can provide and the economic boost they can generate in local towns. Energy Citizens in all New England states should join with the Herald News in speaking out for infrastructure projects.
Clean, affordable natural gas is important across our nation, and Colorado is one of our nation’s leading producers. In many states, natural gas is increasingly being used to generate electricity that powers businesses, lights schools, and heats and cools homes.
Natural gas has also helped revive U.S. manufacturing, and it is used extensively in agriculture, so it helps put food on our tables.
The economic benefits of domestic natural gas are matched by environmental benefits. America’s carbon emissions have fallen to levels not seen for decades in large part because of the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. We are making more progress fighting climate change than any other nation. Gina McCarthy, the head of the EPA, called natural gas “a game-changer with our ability to really move forward with pollution reductions.”
The impact of the shale revolution is profound because the economic growth it continues to produce is not confined to any single region of the U.S. Cheap natural gas is strengthening energy security across the country and is fueling a resurgence in manufacturing – particularly the most energy-intensive industrial products, such as iron and steel, bulk chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, cement, petroleum refining, glass, paper and food products.
Why is shale gas production so important to manufacturing? It’s because manufacturing is very energy-intensive. With more shale gas being produced here, it has lowered the cost of energy for American manufacturers:
Adjusted for inflation, the cost of electricity to industrial users in the U.S. is lower this year than almost any year in history. Compared to 2008 in the early days of the shale revolution, industrial electricity prices are 17 percent lower today. That’s because virtually every new power plant constructed in recent years has been fueled with natural gas. Gas plants are relatively inexpensive to build, and gas prices are projected to remain low for many decades.
During the election year we heard a lot about creating more American jobs. Let’s make sure to ask the candidates where they stand on natural gas production and the use of natural gas in power generation. If they don’t advocate for pro-energy policies or for allowing markets, not government mandates or incentives to dictate our power generation mix, it’s hard to see how they can be serious about job growth in the U.S. For our economy to continue to grow, we need to make sure that candidates running this year support oil and gas production and the market-driven use of more natural gas to generate electricity.
WJAR TV recently reported on a group of protesters in New Bedford who expressed their opposition to an expansion of natural gas capacity in their community, in spite of potential energy costs savings that Access Northeast estimates could amount to as much as $1 billion a year.
Expanding New England’s energy infrastructure will NOT harm the environment! In fact, it will help lower emissions by replacing dirtier fuels now used for power generation with clean-burning natural gas. As this report from the Northeast Gas Association says:
The comparative advantages of natural gas power generation include higher efficiency, lower heat rate, shorter construction lead times, and reduced air pollutant emissions compared to other fossil fuels.
New Englanders who want to see cleaner air should spend their time applauding new pipelines, not protesting them.
Natural gas is an economic and environmental game changer for the United States. Though Minnesota is not an energy producer, we stand to benefit as utilities increasingly generate electricity from natural gas.
But we won’t realize the full benefits of America’s energy renaissance if we don’t expand our state’s pipeline system.
Pipelines are essential for transporting natural gas from wells to processing facilities and on to customers, including utilities, businesses, and households. With our growing population and economy, we need greater pipeline capacity. It’s that simple.
Natural gas has been the primary driver of U.S. carbon emission reductions. In 2014, U.S. carbon emissions were at their lowest levels in 20 years. In fact, natural gas has enabled the energy sector alone to experience its lowest carbon levels in 25 years. Today, we lead all other industrial nations in carbon emission reductions, primarily because of the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity.
Ample supplies of American natural gas mean we are less dependent on foreign nations to meet our energy needs. The availability of natural gas has also helped control energy and heating costs for American households.
Pipelines are a safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly way to transport natural gas and oil. In addition to having a 99.99% transportation safety record, pipelines are tightly regulated by federal and state governments and are also monitored with cutting-edge technology.
Every cubic foot of natural gas or barrel of petroleum moved by pipeline reduces the need to transport fuel by truck or rail. In other words, pipelines help reduce traffic congestion on our roads and rail lines.
Those opposed to pipelines cannot reasonably defend their position by pointing to safety or environmental concerns. Often, these opponents come from national level organizations that support a national keep-it-in –the-ground agenda that places little thought on how this position would actually impact people living here in Minnesota. A failure to expand our state’s pipeline capacity could increase the environmental impact of fuel transportation and drive up costs. This makes no sense.
In Minnesota, we don’t have to pick. We instead need to take a commonsense approach to meeting our energy needs, supporting our economy, and protecting our environment. It’s time to allow energy infrastructure projects, especially pipelines, to move forward.