Natural gas touches every aspect of our daily lives, from fueling our stoves and cars, to producing electricity that charges our mobile phones, provides us with light and keeps us cool. Without energy, and in particular affordable natural gas, our lives and economy would come to a standstill.
Three recently released reports highlight the natural gas industry’s economic benefits, as well as its resiliency and bright future.
In a report out last week by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the benefits of Ohio’s natural gas production to consumers and job creators is highlighted. CEA explains the shale revolution has reduced Ohio natural gas prices from a peak of $10.66 to just under $4 in recent years. As a result, Ohio natural gas consumers have saved over $40.2 billion between 2006 and 2016 as a result of the decreasing price of natural gas; with residential users saving almost $15 billion, while commercial and industrial users saved more than $25 billion.
The report also mentions the role the shale revolution has had in lowering gas prices at the pump. This past July 4th holiday, the American Automobile Association found that 46.9 million Americans drove more than 50 miles, making it the fifth consecutive annual increase and highest travel volume. As one of the busiest years for summer road travel, cost savings at the gas pump are at the forefront of the average American’s mind when planning a vacation.
While CEA examined natural gas’ economic impact in Ohio, the Natural Gas Council released a report with RBN Energy that assessed the natural gas industry’s resiliency and reliability. The Council’s report, Weather Resilience in the Natural Gas Industry: the 2017‐2018 Test and Results, examines the industry’s preparation and actions during three recent historic weather events ‐ Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the “Bomb Cyclone” ‐ between August 2017 and January 2018 and the impacts on customers. The study concludes that “the [natural gas] industry proved remarkably resilient in all three weather events”.
Dena E. Wiggins, President and CEO of the Natural Gas Supply Association, which leads the Natural Gas Council in 2018, said:
“In the span of six months, the natural gas supply and delivery system was challenged by hurricanes, devastating flooding and a ‘snow hurricane.’ This study helps to get the story out about how natural gas customers were impacted by those events and how the industry’s reliability and safety measures were an essential part of helping our customers. We think there’s a great story to tell, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of natural gas safety and reliability as we head into the 2018 hurricane season. We are proud of our industry’s commitment to ensuring the reliable, safe delivery of natural gas to U.S. consumers.”
Finally, last week also saw the release of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) monthly Short Term Energy Outlook, which presents a bright outlook for natural gas production this year and next, as well as the important role natural gas plays in our power sector. EIA’s latest data forecasts dry natural gas production will average 81.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2018, up by 7.5 Bcf/d from 2017 and establishing a new record high. EIA expects natural gas production will rise again in 2019 to 84.1 Bcf/d. And regarding electricity for our homes and businesses, EIA expects the share of electricity generation from natural gas‐fired power plants to rise from 32% in 2017 to 34% in 2018 and to 35% in 2019. This latest data from EIA is made possible by the safe and responsible development and delivery of American natural gas.
Last week’s reports and findings reinforce that the state of American natural gas is strong, and clean natural gas will reliably fuel our economy for years to come. We need to continue to explore, develop, and safely transport these valuable resources so that they can continue keeping energy prices affordable, resilient and dependable, across the United States.