Lisa O'Leary The Gifts of Natural Gas: U.S. Jobs

Among the many gifts of natural gas is the significant job creation in the United States. Every day, 622,000 people work to explore for, produce, transport and distribute natural gas.  Natural gas distribution alone provides nearly 20 percent of these jobs. In addition, more than 700,000 jobs are created in industries such as agriculture and manufacturing that support and supply goods and services to the natural gas industry. And as a whole, the natural gas industry employs nearly 3 million people in all 50 states.

The past several years have been truly game-changing in the natural gas industry thanks to improved technologies that are allowing energy producers to access significant and growing supplies of domestic natural gas from shale formations and other unconventional reservoirs. As a result, the natural gas supply picture looks extremely bright, both for the industry and customers.

According to a study by IHS Global Insight, natural gas production from shale is expected to support 1.5 million jobs by 2015 and 2.4 million by 2035.

“At a time when the U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession and struggling to create enough jobs to sharply reduce the unemployment rate, the growth in shale and other unconventional natural gas production is a major contributor to employment prospects and the U.S. economy,” said IHS Vice President John Larson, the lead author of the study.

By introducing cash back into the economy, natural gas employees have supported 1.5 million jobs and created demand for further goods and services. Dow Chemical Co. plans to build a multibillion-dollar plant in Texas that will convert natural gas into the building blocks of plastic– creating 2,000 construction jobs. Sasol Ltd, a South African chemical company, recently announced plans to build a “gas-to-liquids” plant in Louisiana that will convert natural gas to diesel. According to Chief Financial Officer Christine Ramon, Sasol Ltd has completed a feasibility study for the plant and estimates it will produce 96,000 barrels of diesel and other fuels per day.

AGA and our members will continue to collaborate with policymakers at all levels to deliver this abundant, affordable and clean energy source and help create jobs in our nation.

AGA will highlight the many gifts of natural gas throughout the month of December. Let us know what your favorite gift is in the comments section below.

Lisa O'Leary

About Lisa O'Leary

Lisa O'Leary is the Manager of Digital Communications for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Lisa served as Manager of Multimedia Communications for the Senator John Heinz History Center, "the Smithsonian's home in Pittsburgh," and as a Web Producer at WPXI-TV, Channel 11 News in Pittsburgh, PA. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.
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