Report shows $1.1 trillion in savings

I remember one of the Sunday evening phone calls I had with my mother in Pittsburgh after “fracking” became a hot topic. Her comment was, “My gas bill is down $100 a month.”

To a 90-year-old woman on a fixed income, that was a lot of money. In addition, her air and water were the cleanest she had seen in her entire life.

A few years ago, I was complaining about my winter electric bill. My son from Maryland, whose house is bigger than mine and who has four kids, responded, “Dad, my electric and gas bills together are only $180 a month.”

I told him, “You said the magic word. You have natural gas.”

Our house was built in the 1980s when the USA was running out of natural gas. New natural gas hookups were not permitted. Even though we live on top of a large natural gas storage field, we still can’t get natural gas to our home.

During the years of the energy crisis almost everything we bought had a fuel surcharge on it. In my former life as a manager, we added a fuel surcharge to every invoice. We also saw a fuel surcharge from most of our vendors. My home electric bill had a fuel adjustment added to it every month. The surcharges went away after the Shale Revolution started. Now, over 10 years later, most people have forgotten what the energy crisis was like.

During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, our natural gas and gasoline prices went up literally overnight. Hurricane Harvey in 2017 had no impact on natural gas prices. My local gasoline price actually dropped 15 cents per gallon. Energy prices have become a non-issue in most places except California and New England. Most people have taken energy for granted.

We may have sensed that we have saved money because of lower natural gas prices. This week a new report found American end-users had $1.1 trillion in energy savings due to significant natural gas production in the Shale Crescent USA region. The report, “Natural Gas Savings to End-Users: 2008-2018, A Technical Briefing Paper,” was released by Shale Crescent USA and the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Key Findings of the Report were:

∫ Increased production of U.S. natural gas, led by growth in the Shale Crescent region (Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia), has led to $1.1 trillion in energy savings nationwide.

∫ Over $90 billion in savings for all natural gas users in the Shale Crescent Region.

∫ Nearly $25 billion in savings for Shale Crescent region manufacturers and industrial users.

∫ When allocating the $1.1 trillion savings from lower natural gas costs over the last ten years from every sector to each household in America (roughly 125 million households), equates to an average savings of $9,000 per household.

∫ Energy savings amount to a 2.7 percent raise for low-income families.

The full study and additional information is available at www.onetrillionsaved.org.

The savings in the report take into account more than natural gas used for heating, cooking, transportation and electricity. It also takes into account the lower cost of natural gas used as a feed stock for the thousands of consumer products we use every day.

This report is an important tool we can use to provide hard data to companies interested in coming to the region. It fits in nicely with Shale Crescent USA’s IHSMarkit studies that the show the Shale Crescent USA region is the most profitable place in the world to build a petrochemical plant. The IHSMarkit studies predict what future profitability will be. This report is important because it quantifies savings that have actually occurred over a 10-year period and can be expected to continue. Just this week we had meetings with two foreign companies interested in coming to the Shale Crescent USA region.

Since we have had this massive increase in natural gas production and use in the last 10 years, what has been the impact on the environment? Major pollutants like nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and even carbon dioxide have continued to decline, according to a recent report by the Consumer Energy Alliance. The International Energy Agency said the United States (despite not being a party to a formal treaty) has reduced CO2 emissions more than any other country. World CO2 emissions, led by China, continue to increase. U.S. natural gas could be a global solution to Asia’s pollution problems.

U.S. natural gas producers, employing advanced technologies, have made the U.S. the top natural gas producing country in the world, with 85 percent of that growth coming from the Shale Crescent region.

This report focuses on savings. Imagine what our energy prices would be and what our consumer products would cost if there wasn’t a Shale Revolution. What if those 16 liquid natural gas import terminals had been built and our natural gas was coming from our “friends” in Russia, Iran and other OPEC nations. We can’t predict what prices would have been. I do know we would be talking about cost increases not savings. We would have seen immediate natural gas and oil price increases after the drone attack on the Saudi oil fields. We would also be paying more because of the current Middle East unrest. Because of natural gas production from the Shale Crescent USA, natural gas prices to the consumer and feedstock costs have been stable. Our lifestyle would be much different today without the Shale Revolution.

We continue to hear about the evils of fossil fuels like natural gas from the Washington, D.C. and Hollywood elite. They have plenty of money for the energy bills on their mansions and yachts. Living paycheck to paycheck is something they don’t understand. It reminds me of the French Revolution, when a certain queen said, “Let them eat cake.”

Thoughts to ponder.

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.


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