Division of Energy Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
8th Floor, 1100 Bank St
Richmond, VA 23219
To whom it may concern:
I am writing today to ask that you include the development of the natural gas industry as part of the Virginia Energy Plan currently under review.
Power providers, manufacturing companies, surface and marine fleet operators and millions of small business and home-owners have turned to natural gas to ensure they can get the energy they need, at a price they can afford.
Virginia depends on energy being available at the flip of a switch, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For that to happen, the supply and demand of electricity must always be in balance, meaning the energy going into the power grid must equal the amount being used. That’s why all our nation’s energy systems require constant power generation that can also fluctuate with our needs. Natural gas generation is doing just that: reliably and efficiently providing power at an affordable cost while being flexible and fast-ramping enough to keep the lights on. While also helping make the US a global leader in lowering Carbon emissions. While the emissions in the USA continue to lower, emissions within the European Union and Western Europe have continued to rise.
Affordable and available energy are spurring a return of American Manufacturing as companies are making the move to the USA.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the abundant supply of U.S. natural gas has attracted nearly $200 billion in new manufacturing investment which will create 468,000 new jobs by 2025. Access and proximity to plentiful natural gas resources has made the U.S. the place to be for manufacturers.
This is something Virginia has the potential to benefit from as they already benefit from the 125,000 direct and indirect jobs, nearly $7.0 billion in wages and almost $12.0 billion in the state’s economy that Virginia’s Natural Gas industry currently provides.
To sustain a clean, reliable and affordable power supply, federal, regional and state regulators need to recognize that a market-driven diversity of attributes, not an arbitrary, government-mandated fuel mix, will lead to the lowest cost and most reliable power for consumers. It is a matter of fact that within our borders, our nation has enormous energy resources that Virginia can and should access to attract new jobs to our economy.
It is my hope that the Commonwealth of Virginia will continue its support of development of the natural gas industry as it moves forward in its review and implementation of Virginia’s Energy Plan.