With natural gas from shale expected to support more than 1.6 million American jobs by 2035, it's no surprise that columnists from media outlets across the country are highlighting the many uses and benefits of natural gas. Here are just a few:
"The No. 1 energy innovation in the 21st century has been shale gas in terms of scale and impact. Gas is about 25 percent of our total energy consumption and that number is going to continue to climb. Shale gas could reach 50-60 percent of our gas production by the end of this decade."
This transformation could make the U.S. the world's top energy producer by 2020, raise more tax revenue, free us from worrying about the Middle East, and, if we're smart, build a bridge to a much cleaner energy future.
"The U.S. now seems to possess a 100-year supply of natural gas, which is the cleanest of the fossil fuels. This cleaner, cheaper energy source is already replacing dirtier coal-fired plants."
"Already shale gas has produced more than half a million new jobs, not only in traditional areas like Texas but also in economically wounded places like western Pennsylvania and, soon, Ohio. If current trends continue, there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs to come."
"Chemical companies rely heavily on natural gas, and the abundance of this new source has induced companies like Dow Chemical to invest in the U.S. rather than abroad. The French company Vallourec is building a $650 million plant in Youngstown, Ohio, to make steel tubes for the wells. States like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York will reap billions in additional revenue. Consumers also benefit. Today, natural gas prices are less than half of what they were three years ago, lowering electricity prices. Meanwhile, America is less reliant on foreign suppliers."
"But I do think the natural gas point is an essential point. Wherever you go around the country-western Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Texas-I've been a lot of places where we're finding new natural gas deposits here. It seems to be the fuel of the future even though it's the fuel of the president."
"Fracking isn't going away. To put it another way, the technique of hydraulic fracturing, used to extract natural gasfrom once-impossible-to-get-at reservoirs like the Marcellus Shale that lies beneath New York and Pennsylvania, has more than proved its value. At this point, shale gas, as it's called, makes up more than 30 percent of the country's natural gas supply, up from 2 percent in 2001 - a figure that is sure to keep rising. Fracking's enemies can stamp their feet all they want, but that gas is too important to leave it in the ground."
"In the wake of the midterm elections, President Obama identified promotion of natural gas use as an area of potential bipartisan action. He hopes to prod utilities and manufacturers into switching from coal to natural gas, which emits half the amount of greenhouse gases."
"Discoveries of new ways to tap natural gas trapped in shale rock have unlocked supplies that could keep prices in check for years to come."
"The silver bullet: Decommission about two-thirds of the electric-generating capacity fueled by cheap and plentiful coal, and replace it with power generated from cheap and plentiful natural gas, which emits half as much carbon for each megawatt of electricity."