Natural gas production in the United States is booming, especially in Pennsylvania where natural gas production grew by 14.7% in the first quarter of 2019, helping to produce over 20% of all natural gas in the country.
The increase has helped create more jobs and develop a flourishing economy, but it’s without the proper infrastructure to get the gas to consumers. This lack of energy infrastructure leaves many consumers paying higher prices for their gas.
A recent article by The Wall Street Journal noted the stark dichotomy in surge prices. In New York City two utility companies stopped accepting new natural-gas customers in certain areas because of supply lines already being heavily backed up, while just the largest natural gas field in the United States, Marcellus Shale, is in the next state. Even worse, in 2018 natural gas prices in New York City surged to $175 due to record heat demand during a snowstorm because of a lack of adequate energy transportation. Meanwhile in Texas this spring, where there is an overabundance of natural gas, the price “dropped as low as negative $9 per million British thermal units – meaning that producers were paying people to take it off their hands.”
We should be growing our domestic energy foothold, which means promoting and growing our energy infrastructure development. Instead of bolstering our energy sector, politics and bureaucracy are getting in the way. Keep it in the ground ideologues have been successful in masking their opposition to any type of energy project as alternative causes such as public safety in order to completely stop development.
Companies are forced to fight through years of red tape and political opposition to get pipelines approved. Costs to build these pipelines also rise due to unnecessary and harmful delays. The process is too long and expensive and in the end Pennsylvanians, all of whom rely on energy for everyday life, are the ones who will suffer from these shortsighted movements.
We must continue to push for energy infrastructure development in our state. It is crucial to not only promote economic growth, but also improving quality of life in Pennsylvania.