Natural Gas Saves U.S. Consumers Billions

If you had the ability to have clean, reliable energy delivered to your house at an affordable price, would you do so? Of course you would. And the good news for millions of Americans who use natural gas is that their monthly bills are about to get even easier to pay. Thanks to increased natural gas development from shale, the average consumer will save more than $145 on his or her household gas bills this year. Indeed, according to an economist at the U.S. Federal Reserve, lower natural gas prices will save U.S. consumers a total of more than $16 billion in home energy costs in 2012.

Clearly, the use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to access our nation’s vast natural gas reserves from shale is paying enormous dividends, not just in terms of job creation – 600,000 jobs, to be more specific – but also in consumer savings. As Hank Linginfelter, executive vice president of AGL Resource Inc., noted, “I think of shale gas as a real game-changer for consumers of natural gas. It’s having a significant impact on prices.”

Looking forward, natural gas consumers can expect to see an average annual household savings of $926 between 2012 and 2015.  But today — whether is a new pair of shoes, a Valentine’s Day gift not made out of chocolate, or just a nice chunk of change in your pocket — the benefits of natural gas development from shale are being felt by millions of consumers across the nation.

As today’s Bloomberg article noted,

“Natural gas prices that slumped to a 10-year low this month could save U.S. consumers $16.5 billion on home energy bills over the course of a year, according to a senior economist at the U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. households might see total savings from lower gas prices of as much as $113 billion a year through 2015, including tack-on effects such as lower product prices and higher wages generated by cheaper fuel, according to energy industry consultants IHS Inc…

Consumers will likely spend about 95 percent of the direct savings they see from their gas bills, said Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While that amount is a fraction of the $10.245 trillion in consumer spending for 2010, ‘it’s a step in the right direction,’ Solow said.” (1/26/12)

To date, natural gas production has stimulated our economy, catalyzed job growth, and increased our domestic energy base.  Now it is providing real and tangible benefits to our pocketbooks. As production continues to grow—with 1.2 million wells hydraulically fractured to date—it seems evermore clear that it is in the best interest of our nation and our consumers to support the safe and responsible development of natural gas from shale.


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