What is Shale Gas?
Shale Gas: The Most Important Energy Development in 50 Years
Access to vast new supplies of American natural gas from shale deposits is one of the most exciting domestic energy developments in decades, particularly for the business of chemistry. Rich in the ethane needed for chemical production, shale is revitalizing the chemical industry and America’s manufacturing base.
To maximize the economic potential of natural gas, we need policies and regulations that enable access to this immense natural gas supply, while keeping natural gas markets stable and protecting the environment. By promoting best practices and working closely with state regulators and policymakers, we can ensure that regulations and laws promote innovation, energy security and economic growth while encouraging responsible natural gas production.
Chemistry is doing what no other industry can do – leveraging an estimated 100-year natural gas supply from shale to revitalize America's manufacturing sector, drive U.S. competitiveness and boost exports, create new, high-paying manufacturing jobs and fortify our nation’s energy security.
American chemistry relies on abundant, affordable supplies of natural gas as a raw material, or “feedstock,” to make the chemical building blocks that go into nearly 96 percent of all domestic manufactured goods. Chemical manufacturers also rely on natural gas energy to help power our factories and businesses.
Natural Gas: The Benefits
A recent ACC study showed that an increase of just 25 percent in ethane supplies from shale gas could:
- Create 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the chemical and supplier industries and other dependent sectors.
- Produce more than $132 billion in U.S. economic output.
- Generate $4.4 billion in new annual tax revenues.
Capitalizing on abundant and affordable natural gas supplies, many U.S. chemical companies have already announced plans to create jobs by building new plants, restarting facilities or making new investments along America’s industrial heartland. Natural gas production is growing in states like West Virginia, Ohio Pennsylvania and along the Gulf – producing billions in needed revenues for struggling economies.
Shale Gas: Our Policy Position
A comprehensive domestic energy strategy must increase the creation of domestic energy supplies and natural gas production while implementing balanced regulatory policies that protect our environment.
- To maximize the national benefits of shale gas, government policies must avoid undue restrictions on the natural gas supply from shale deposits.
- State oversight of hydraulic fracturing is appropriate since state governments have the knowledge to oversee the natural gas production process in their jurisdictions.
- The use of various products of chemistry in hydraulic fracturing must be transparent while protecting proprietary information.
- Government policies should not undermine the availability of domestic natural gas.