With a consistent increase in natural gas production, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has seen tremendous economic benefits. Heating costs steadily decline as more natural gas is produced, and jobs spring up across the state while infrastructure is constructed and operated. In just a matter of years, production in Pennsylvania has grown to record highs, and, as Jude Clemente writes for Forbes, Pennsylvania accounts for a significant portion of America’s total natural gas production.
“Up from virtually nothing a decade ago, Pennsylvania now accounts for 20% of all U.S. natural gas. The Marcellus is the driving force behind America’s projected 40% increase in gas production by 2040.”
Pennsylvania’s natural gas production is having ripple effects across the country through lower natural gas and heating costs, the most profound effects have been in Pennsylvania itself. As Clemente notes, “even after satisfying all of its own needs, Pennsylvania still has the ability to export about 14-16% of all natural gas used in the U.S.” This means that Pennsylvania produces far more natural gas than it needs, which in turn significantly drives down electric and heating bills in Pa.
In fact, Pennsylvania paid far below national averages for electricity, Clemente writes:
“Pennsylvania in 2016 had the lowest natural gas prices to generate electric power, at $1.95 per Thousand Cubic Feet, compared to $2.99 for the national average. It’s also no wonder then that a just released study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy credits the Marcellus for costs for Pennsylvanians falling much faster than the national average.”
Natural gas is stimulating Pennsylvania’s economy, and helping our citizens hold on to more of their own hard earned money. It’s important that we continue to expand our energy infrastructure to best utilize our natural resources. Projects like the Atlantic Sunrise or Mariner East 2 Pipelines, and the Shell Petrochemical plant are vital for us to maintain our position as a trailblazer in natural gas. Continued focus on infrastructure and production will serve the people of Pennsylvania well by keeping their heating and electric bills low.