Today, because of technological advancements including the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, America has access to previously unreachable stores of natural gas.
The result? The United States has become the world’s leader in natural gas production with a 100-yr supply of safe, clean-burning natural gas. In fact, there is such an abundance that within the next 10 years, we are expected to become a net exporter of natural gas, which will not only will help the U.S. economy, but also our allies who want secure, reliable sources of energy.
Environmental Benefits of Natural Gas
Americans have always known that natural gas is a clean-burning source of energy. But, let’s take a look at some of the ways that it is helping address climate change:
- As a result of the increased use of natural gas in the country, we’ve been able to reduce our carbon emissions from energy to near 20-year lows.
- Methane emissions have fallen as the production of natural gas has increased.
- Natural gas enables renewable energy use to grow by providing reliable and affordable power when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.
- The growth of versatile natural gas for electricity, heating, industry, and transportation will only serve to increase environmental benefits of natural gas.
Economic Benefits of Natural Gas
America’s abundance of natural gas is also driving economic benefits to American families, businesses and government agencies:
- The abundance of natural gas has lowered energy costs, which provides the average American household with $1,337 in additional disposable income.
- Natural gas is revitalizing America’s manufacturing industry and bringing jobs back to the U.S. For example, the chemical industry is implementing 264 projects, which will generate $164 billion in capital investment and 426 thousand jobs due to affordable, abundant natural gas.
- Natural gas development added $284 billion to U.S. GDP in 2012. This is expected to grow to $533 billion by 2025.
- The natural gas industry supports 3 million good-paying American jobs and contributes $385 billion to the American economy every single year.
- Abundant natural gas allowed U.S. school districts to save $1.2 billion on their power bills in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
These economic and climate benefits can continue to grow with smart governmental policies that allow increased natural gas production and the construction of vital energy infrastructure for delivery.