The Marcellus and Utica shales produce truly incredible amounts of natural gas. To put it in perspective, if the Appalachian basin were a country of its own – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia – then it would be the world’s third largest producer of natural gas. Not only is that level of production impressive, but so are the ways in which it has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Natural gas has ushered in tremendous economic growth and opportunity for everyone in the Keystone State. According to a recent study from PwC, natural gas contributes $45 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, stimulating local businesses and helping fund our schools and hospitals. On top of the monetary benefit, the study also found that natural gas developments support more than 320,000 jobs in Pennsylvania – that’s enough jobs for every single person in Pittsburgh, with some left over.
Pennsylvania has yet to fully realize its potential with natural gas, however. Continuing to expand and utilize more of the natural resources beneath our feet will only bring us to higher peaks, open up more jobs, create more wealth. As Pennsylvania Manufacturing Association’s Dave Taylor said, “we have a unique, generational opportunity to move the commonwealth and our nation forward by leveraging our energy resources into much-needed job creation.”
Estimates have consistently shown incredible upside to continued focus on natural gas in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth has the chance to grab hold of a $60 billion in their GDP, and more than another 100,000 jobs over the next decade. Improving our natural gas infrastructure with projects like Atlantic Coast Sunrise or Mariner East 2 are important steps towards realizing this future. We cannot rest on our laurels in Pennsylvania, and we need to continue to utilize our immense natural resources for the benefit of everyone.