Thompson Joins Natural Gas Caucus’ Official Launch at Hearing;T. Boone Pickens & Penn State’s Dr. Robert Watson Testify

Oct 21, 2009

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson joined fellow Members of Congress today officially launching the House Natural Gas Caucus at a hearing to discuss the “State of U.S. Natural Gas Today.”
Today’s hearing included testimony from leading industry experts, business officials and scholars including Dr. Robert W. Watson of the Pennsylvania State University.  Watson told the hearing, “Over the next five years, the Marcellus industry will likely transform Pennsylvania into a net exporter of natural gas.  In slightly more than 10 years, the Marcellus industry could be generating nearly 175,000 jobs annually and more than $13 billion in value added.  Also, over this time frame, the present value of state and local tax revenues earned from Marcellus development is almost $12 billion.”
“Natural gas is the way to preserve energy security in this nation,” said Thompson.  “As we work toward clean sustainable energy development, we have to realize that renewable energy is not yet at the place that it can take over for the 85 percent of our power and energy still generated by fossil fuels.  Our huge natural gas supply guarantees its use 100 years into the future.”
T. Boone Pickens reinforced those views when he testified that, “Natural gas is the bridge to the next fuel.  We have 2000 trillion cubic feet of untapped natural gas in this country, which is equal to 350 billion barrels of oil.  That is one and one-half times more oil than in Saudi Arabia.  This is a global game changer.”
He said, “I applaud Congressman Thompson and the Members of the House Natural Gas Caucus for promoting the use of natural gas to achieve greater energy independence for America. I look forward to working with them on expanding the many uses of this American resource.  We’ve got to get off foreign oil, and the only immediately available transportation fuel that can replace it is natural gas,” said Pickens.
Pickens explained that in September this country purchased 357 million barrels of oil at a cost of $25 billion.  He said two-thirds of our trade deficit is for the purchase of oil.  He pointed to the Marcellus shale play identified on a U.S. map and said, “Marcellus shale—can you imagine how many jobs are going to be developed there?”
The Congressional Natural Gas Caucus was formed as a bipartisan effort to promote awareness of an abundant, low emission energy source.   By promoting the use of natural gas, America will benefit from cleaner modes of transportation and energy generation, creating a cleaner environment and millions of new American jobs.  The Caucus will be focused on promoting the production of domestic natural gas and exploring the ways natural gas can help meet the country’s energy needs while leading us toward an independent energy future.

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