Natural Gas, Natural Advantage: Powering VA’s Future – US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
April 18th, 2024

Every day, natural gas provides consumers and businesses with the clean, reliable, and affordable energy needed to fuel our national and global economy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), demand for this fuel is expected to reach record highs in the coming year. Now, more than ever, it’s critical we realize the economic, environmental, and national security advantages of natural gas. As the leading natural gas producer in the world, U.S. natural gas is responsible for directly and indirectly supporting millions of jobs, as well as generating billions in economic opportunity.

Promoting Economic Growth, Creating Local Jobs

According to research by PwC, the oil and natural gas industry supports 10.8 million jobs across the U.S., over 185,000 of which are located in Virginia. In Virginia, natural gas already supplies over 57% of Virginia’s electricity generation, a reliance that is only expected to increase as rising demand from population growth, industrial growth, and the shift towards electrification progresses. In fact, Virginia’s need for a reliable fuel source is projected to significantly grow, given its role as the largest data center in the world. Recently, analysts noted that demand in Virginia’s “data center alley” is expected to triple by 2035: without natural gas, these internet servers would be forced to develop in neighboring regions and Virginia would forfeit the investment and growth of this fast-growing industry.

Moreover, natural gas provides powerful consumer benefits. Virginia families using natural gas save up to 21% on heating—compared to electric heating—and one in every three households relies on natural gas to keep their families warm and powered.

Reducing Emissions

Importantly, natural gas has environmental benefits, too: it has reduced more carbon dioxide emissions over the past 15 years than any other energy source. Since 2006, natural gas fuel switching decreased CO2 emissions by nearly 5 million metric tons nationally—which is the equivalent of removing 1.1 million cars from the roads for a year. As businesses and nations across the world seek to reduce their environmental impact, natural gas has emerged as the clear solution to reducing GHG emissions, all while ensuring reliable, safe, and affordable energy.

The Bottom Line

Natural gas is an abundant and affordable fuel that provides the United States with a unique advantage: promoting economic growth while also reducing emissions. This advantage translates to supporting jobs and our economy, improving air quality, and strengthening our national security.

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