To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor asks how natural gas gets to New Jersey. It also questions the use and benefits of the natural gas from the PennEast Pipeline.
First and foremost, the PennEast Pipeline will not export natural gas; it will serve area natural gas and electric consumers. Despite countless repeated affirmations, groups opposed to the Pipeline continue to claim that this gas will be exported. We reiterate that nothing could be further from the truth.
Further, states do not govern foreign natural gas exports; the federal government, specifically the U.S. Department of Energy, has that authority. PennEast has not made any export application to the DOE.
As for natural gas delivery, five major long‐haul pipelines serve eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Three of these, the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, Texas Eastern Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline all originate in the Gulf of Mexico, as historically natural gas has traveled more than a thousand miles from the Gulf to the mid-Atlantic.
PennEast Pipeline plans have changed
The current eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey interstate pipeline system was designed decades before abundant Appalachian natural gas supplies were discovered.
So why does PennEast need to be constructed? First, PennEast is the first natural gas pipeline designed to deliver the most abundant and most affordable supply of natural gas in all of North America directly to New Jersey.
It is needed to address existing capacity constraints on the pipeline systems that will only get worse in the years ahead.
These constraints are clear when one compares natural gas prices in northeast Pennsylvania where gas is produced, to the market areas in eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey where it is consumed.
Over the last three winters, there were 164 days where the difference in natural gas prices between northeast Pennsylvania and eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey exceeded $2/dekatherm – and during the winter of 2013-2014 - the difference exceeded $100/dekatherm.
To put this into context, natural gas currently trades in the $1-2/dekatherm range in northeast Pennsylvania. That is why estimates show that had the PennEast Pipeline been in operation in 2013, consumers would have saved almost $900 million in that winter alone on both electric and gas bills.
Many speak out against PennEast Pipeline | Feedback
The example is almost equal to the cost of building the PennEast Pipeline, which is estimated at $1.2 billion. This is the power of the PennEast Pipeline.
The PennEast Pipeline will not only provide cost savings, but it offers utilities supply security and reliability, supply diversity, supply flexibility and price stability for residents and businesses.
It will also fuel the electric power sector's shift from coal and oil to greater reliance on clean, affordable natural gas (outlined as a key goal in New Jersey's 2011 Energy Master Plan). That benefits the air we breathe and the environment we leave to our children and grandchildren.
Last, the writer discusses natural gas needs 20 years from now. Natural gas – delivered by pipelines, the safest means available – will be a key part of our energy future 20 years from now and beyond.
In 2015, the U.S. used just over 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Annual use is expected to climb to 34.4 trillion cubic feet in 2040. The increased use is driven by natural gas' environmental benefits and sustained production from abundant domestic supplies – offering families and businesses price stability.
There is a clear regional need for the PennEast Pipeline. Major business and labor organizations across Pennsylvania and New Jersey support PennEast. Dozens of public officials representing both parties also have called for its approval. The pipeline will support both the region's environmental and economic goals, and will be an important part of America's secure, energy future.
PennEast Pipeline Company
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