Technological advancements including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have enabled natural gas producers to safely and responsibly develop vast deposits of shale gas found thousands of feet deep beneath the Earth's surface. This means not only stable and abundant supplies of natural gas for power generation, transportation and industrial uses, but it also means hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created as production of this resource increases.
A recent report prepared by IHS Global Insight takes a closer look at the economic benefits that will come from increased development of America's shale gas resources. From job creation to GDP growth, and from cheaper energy to industrial recovery, it is clear that natural gas abundance will have wide-reaching positive impacts on America's economy.
Shale natural gas amounted to 27% of the overall U.S. natural gas production in 2010, and supported more than 600,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs. As the share of shale gas production increases to 43% in 2015 and 60% in 2035, development of this resource will support more than 800,000 and 1.6 million jobs, respectively.
IHS finds that our domestic natural gas abundance reduces electricity costs by 10 percent. This means that American households will gain on average $926 in disposable income between 2012 and 2015. This will increase to more than $2,000 per household in 2035.
As production of shale natural gas grows, so too will its value-added contribution to the GDP and federal state and local tax revenues. By 2035, shale gas will add more than $231 billion to the national GDP and contribute more than $57 billion in taxes.
Many domestic industries, including steel and chemical, rely on natural gas as a feedstock, energy source - or both. Low and stable prices, thanks to the abundance of this resource, means that industrial groups will increase their use of this product spurring greater investment and job creation. This also leads to increased competitiveness of domestic manufacturers and will result in 3% and 4.7% growth in industrial production by 2017 and 2035, respectively.
Local stakeholders speak out about the benefits of natural gas in their communities.