3 opportunities to transform New York’s energy future; shale gas is one of them

Political and business leaders met in Albany, NY on Tuesday to explore ways to “Transform New York’s Energy Future” through innovative energy efficiency technologies and diverse domestic energy resources such as energy recovery, and by leveraging abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas from shale to drive a manufacturing renaissance across the Empire State.

New York’s shale gas play

As the fifth- largest chemical-producing state, New York is poised to reap the benefits of shale gas and chemistry innovations, reviving the state’s manufacturing sector, creating jobs, generating state revenues, and putting more money into worker’s pockets across the upstate cities and towns that need it most, according to ACC vice president of state affairs, Roger Bernstein, who set the stage for the discussion:

We are poised to see the greatest growth of the chemical industry in a generation. For our industry, the game changer is ethane, a natural gas liquid found in shale gas. While most of the U.S. chemical industry uses ethane as its raw material, many of our competitors abroad use a more expensive, oil-based feedstock. The U.S. petrochemical industry has an advantage when the ratio of oil-to-natural gas prices is above 7:1. With $100 per barrel oil and natural gas around $2 per million BTUs, today’s ratio is around 50:1.

A Manhattan Institute study found that allowing hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State would galvanize economic growth by adding $8 billion of income to upstate New Yorkers. The income of New Yorkers in the 28 counties above the Marcellus Shale would jump 15 percent, the study said.

In next-door Pennsylvania, the study found that Keystone State counties with more than 200 wells added jobs at a 7 percent annual rate, whereas areas with no drilling or just a few wells saw a 3 percent drop in jobs.

Featured panelists for this discussion included E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and state legislators Jane L. Corwin (NY-144), Clifford W. Crouch (NY-122) and Christopher S. Friend (NY-124).

Efficiency and recovery

Second-round panelists representing New York chemical companies Praxair, Inc., BASF and SABIC described how they are advancing energy efficiency technologies across the commercial, industrial and residential sectors.

As part of the third panel, experts like Professor Marco J. Castaldi, Ph.D., of City College of New York and executives from JBI, Inc. and Waste Management, Inc., highlighted how chemistry is playing a key role in the development of sustainable energy technologies and alternative energy resources, such as energy recovery.

Bernstein added:

It’s exciting to see innovations by New York’s chemical manufacturers helping to improve energy efficiency and enabling a new generation of alternative energy sources. Energy recovery and renewable energy solutions, like solar and wind, are made possible by chemistry and are transforming the way we generate and store energy in New York.

The Albany event, co-hosted by The Business Council of New York State, Inc. and the New York State Chemical Alliance, is the latest in a series organized by the American Chemistry Council as part of our “From Chemistry to Energy” national energy advocacy and awareness campaign.

To access all materials and resources for this event, visit: http://chemistrytoenergy.com/events/transforming-new-yorks-energy-future-policy-innovation-and-economic-growth

To learn more about ACC’s From Chemistry to Energy campaign, visit: www.ChemistryToEnergy.com

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