Guest Commentator: John Walsh, CEO, UGI Corporation@UGI_Utilities

How has the increase of natural gas helped achieve energy efficiency?

On October 5th, we celebrated National Manufacturing Day and National Energy Efficiency Day. Both are tributes to just a couple of the things that our country does well – build things and innovate.

What would the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania look like without the increased use of natural gas?  For starters, Pennsylvania, the region, and the U.S. as a whole would not be enjoying one of the best employment rates we have experienced in a long time.  The national unemployment rate is 3.7 percent and in Pennsylvania it stands at 4.1 percent, which is the lowest it has been in 18 years.

The resurgence in the national and regional economy, in large part, is made possible by the increased production and reliable supply of natural gas from the various shale formations around the country.  The Marcellus Shale play in our own backyard has propelled Pennsylvania to become the second largest producer of natural gas in the U.S.  This low-cost, low-carbon, and reliable fuel has spurred the development of 333 new U.S. chemical projects which are collectively valued at $202 billion.

At the same time, U.S. manufacturers have led the way in energy efficiency.  Energy is one of the largest, if not the largest, components of a manufacturer’s bottom line and this fact has propelled the manufacturing sector to find new ways to conserve energy.

Due to increased energy efficiency and a switch to natural gas, U.S. manufacturers are also helping the U.S. lead the way in reducing carbon emissions.  The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that energy-related CO2 emissions declined by 861 million tons — or 14 percent – between 2005 and 2017.  In fact, U.S. carbon emissions declined by 42 million tons in 2017, which is the largest decrease in carbon emissions of any country in the world.

Natural gas is a natural fit for consumers, the economy, environment, and energy efficiency.

John Walsh is a Co-Chair of the Chamber’s Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT), a consortium of 180+ business, public sector, labor and academic leaders working together to further our vision of an advanced, affordable, diversified, low carbon energy economy.

Upcoming Program

Energy Evolution: How Industry and Consumers Affect our Energy Mix
Join us to hear from Andrew Ott, President & CEO of PJM Interconnection for an in-depth discussion on grid modernization, security and reliability, and the changing landscape of power generation in our region and around the globe.

Friday, November 16, 2018
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Science History Institute