The economy of Pennsylvania has benefited substantially from natural gas development.
According to economist Kevin Gillen, the amount of natural gas that we have produced in the Commonwealth “has doubled over the course of the past five years.” Today, “natural gas processing and transportation supports 300,000 jobs in the Commonwealth and [has] contributed more than $34 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy.”
A recent study put out by the American Petroleum Institute (API) titled, “Benefits and Opportunities of Natural Gas Use, Transportation, and Production,” correspondingly predicted that two million new jobs will be created by the natural gas industry by 2040. In the report, API also predicted that these jobs would conjoin with cheaper production prices of petrochemical products and lower energy prices – saving an additional $1 billion “in cost savings for the American consumer.” According to API Pennsylvania executive director, Stephanie Catarino Wissman, “There’s a lot of opportunities to use the feedstocks for further economic opportunity…Pennsylvania needs more energy infrastructure to get this abundant natural gas to market.”
Gillen elaborates that the existing transportation infrastructure is outdated and is currently “being heavily taxed because it was an infrastructure that was built to only transport about half of what it is currently transporting.” This is concerning given that “the amount of natural gas in the Commonwealth has doubled in the past five years – but the amount of infrastructure that is there to transport that natural gas has not doubled in its capacity.”
Proposed projects in Pennsylvania constitute multi-billion dollar private investments that generate significant direct and indirect benefits in the near- and long-term. Kevin Gillen concluded that, “the improvement and expansion of our capacity to transport natural gas and other energy sources would not only result in fewer environmental hazards – but would also result in a lower cost of energy for the households and businesses that are the ultimate consumers of that natural gas.”