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The Energy Information Administration reported this week that for the first time since it began keeping monthly records, “natural gas and coal had the same share of total net generation of electricity at 32% during April 2012 (see chart above).”
This is one more reason that America’s natural gas windfall represents “one of the most important developments for the economy in the last 60 years,” as I reported earlier this week. In the process of creating thousands of jobs and saving natural gas customers billions of dollars, the shale revolution has also significantly reduced carbon emissions as electricity producers have switched from dirty coal to clean, cheap natural gas. It’s really no exaggeration to say that the United States “hit the energy jackpot” with shale gas.
MP: Let’s sum up some of the many economic and environmental benefits of the shale gas windfall:
1. Residential, commercial, industrial and electricity-generating customers of natural gas have saved $250 billion over the last three years because of abundant, low-cost gas.
2. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in natural-gas related industries, both directly in the gas drilling activities, and indirectly in the industries supporting natural gas drilling like companies producing steel piping, drilling equipment, fracking sand, etc.
3. Cheap, abundant natural gas has sparked a manufacturing renaissance in energy-intensive industries like chemicals, fertilizers, and steel.
4. In the process of creating thousands of jobs and saving natural gas customers billions of dollars, the shale revolution has also significantly reduced carbon emissions as electricity producers have switched from dirty coal to clean, cheap natural gas.
Sure seems like a win, win, win situation – an energy stimulus program that didn’t require any taxpayer support and wasn’t even part of any intentional energy policy from Washington. As Scott Grannis pointed out on his blog recently, “We have only just begun to see the impact of this incredible development on the U.S. economy’s ability to grow.” The changing energy landscape will definitely continue to provide significant benefits to the U.S. economy for decades to come. Welcome to the Shale Revolution.
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