Whether we're talking about the creation of 600,000 new jobs, the lowering of carbon emissions, the lessening of our dependence on foreign energy, or the nearly $250 billion in savings for natural gas customers—the development of natural gas from shale is reinvigorating our nation, and giving a boost to our economy while it's at it.
And with development occurring right now in more than two dozen U.S. states — from Ohio's Utica shale to south Texas's Eagle Ford play — it's no surprise that the benefits of responsible production are being felt across the nation. But according to a new report by the American Gas Association (AGA), the impact of natural gas development on the pocketbooks of American consumers may be a lot more remarkable than even we had previously thought.
As AGA highlights in its new report, states actively developing their own natural gas resources have seen record-breaking production while creating thousands of jobs and economic benefits in their wake. And as a result of this increased production, America's economy is back on its feet, creating savings, revenues, and jobs along the assembly line. According to AGA, production has led to:
- Savings of almost $250 billion for end-use natural gas customers over the past three years,
- $175 in savings for an average residential customer in 2010,
- $1,100 to the average commercial customer in 2010,
- And the creation of 334,000 jobs in industries reliant on natural gas over the past two years.
As AGA points out: "Not only do these savings benefit the gas customers, but there is a ripple effect on the economy when consumers spend some of these savings." While savings increase at home, Americas manufacturing base has rebounded, capitalizing on an inexpensive, abundant, and clean-burning resources, while putting people back to work and keeping industries in the U.S.
With shale development placing prosperity on our nation's doorstep once more, communities across the country – from the Marcellus to the Eagle Ford – are finding new opportunities to benefit from natural gas production. As studies from IHS CERA, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Penn State, MIT, IEA and others have highlighted before, the nation sits upon a "golden" age of natural gas, with countless opportunities surrounding development at every turn.