AGA principles urge responsible US gas resource development

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 8 -- The American Gas Association released a set of natural gas development principles outlining both the benefits of developing the resource in the US and the importance of doing so sustainably and responsibly. AGA also added a section to its web site including extensive development information about hydraulic fracturing and gas-bearing shale formations.

“Recent technological advancements associated with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made it increasingly cost-effective to produce shale gas in new resource areas—a boon to our economy and consumers across the nation—and it’s our responsibility as an industry to help ensure these new resources are developed in a safe and environmentally sound fashion,” AGA Pres. Dave McCurdy said.

McCurdy said the principles address a foundation for sustainable and responsible development of all US gas resources and underscore the commitment of local distribution companies, which comprise most of AGA’s membership, to their communities.

“We want what our customers want—the safe and environmentally sound extraction, transport, and delivery of affordable natural gas,” he said, adding, “Developing this abundant and clean energy resource in America can and should be realized in a responsible manner.”

AGA’s announcement came as the Canadian American Business Council and the Consumer Energy Alliance held a conference about shale gas development and its economic implications for the Canadian and US economies. One of the speakers, Dow Chemical Co. Energy and Climate Change Policy Director Seth Roberts, cited an American Chemistry Council report, “Shale Gas and New Petrochemicals Investment: Benefits for the Economy, Jobs, and US Manufacturing.”

The March report said a hypothetical, but realistic, 25% ethane supply increase for the petrochemical industry would generate 17,000 new knowledge-intensive, high-paying jobs for the chemical industry; 395,000 more jobs outside that industry; $4.4 billion in additional federal, state, and local tax revenue; a $32.8 billion increase in US chemical production; $16.2 billion of capital investments for new petrochemical and derivatives capacity; and $132.4 billion in US economic output.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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