The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released preliminary estimates showing that “total U.S. manufacturing energy consumption increased about 3.7% between 2010 and 2014.”
“This is the first measured 4-year increase in manufacturing energy consumption since 2002. Energy source shares have changed modestly since 2002, with natural gas rising from 29% to 33% of all manufacturing energy consumption. Conversely, during this same period, the share of delivered energy to manufacturing from coal, coke and breeze declined from 10% to 8%, while the share of fuel oils and naphtha together decreased from 7% to 5%.”
Natural Gas Fuels Made in the USA
EIA’s Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) found that natural gas consumption by American manufacturers went up 2 percent between 2010 and 2014. EIA cites the low cost of natural gas compared to other fuels and the fact that natural gas has the lowest carbon content of the fossil fuels as significant drivers in the increased use of natural gas.
EIA also reports that several manufacturers converted from fuel oil to natural gas due to “lower natural gas prices and preparation for expected changes in federal or state environmental regulations in their rationale to switch fuels.”
These recent findings by EIA are further evidence that America is entering a manufacturing renaissance, thanks to abundant reserves of affordable natural gas.
EIA’s survey results also coincide with a Brookings study finding American shale gas provided the industrial sector around $22 billion in savings between 2007 and 2013. That’s a $22 billion advantage over European and Asian counterparts.
This “Made in the USA” renaissance will only come to full fruition when we commit to supporting projects like the PennEast Pipeline – projects that provide new pipeline capacity to deliver American natural gas and a competitive edge to America’s manufacturers.
As Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers explained this past June in testimony before a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing:
“The relationship between natural gas and manufacturing is strong. Manufacturers use natural gas as a fuel for direct process uses, such as drying, melting, process cooling, machine drive and refrigeration; as a fuel for direct non- process uses in manufacturing establishments, such as heating, ventilation, HVAC and lighting; as a fuel for indirect purposes, such as boilers used to produce electricity and steam; and as a feedstock in refining, chemicals and primary metals sectors. Domestic natural gas has transformed the U.S. economy, made our companies more competitive, created jobs and put money back in the pockets of working Americans.”
Eisenberg continued, “The uncertain part of the [natural gas] chain is the midstream infrastructure—the pipelines—and IHS concludes that we will need major investments in new pipeline infrastructure to ensure manufacturers have a steady, reliable stream of natural gas.”
PennEast: A Pipeline to Prosperity
The PennEast Pipeline will deliver a reliable new stream of natural gas — a billion cubic feet every day. This flow of clean energy will serve as a major economic development tool for the region, helping reduce costs for both natural gas and electricity.
The PennEast Pipeline is a pathway towards a bright future for the manufacturing base in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
It’s a given that energy-intensive manufacturing industries locate their operations where energy services are reliable and costs are stable. PennEast will ensure that our region is able to deliver both low-cost and reliable natural gas and electricity. When that happens, we’ll see the renaissance in full bloom.