WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) Executive Vice President Tom Amontree on the New Jersey legislature's passage of a statewide ban on drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing.
"It is unfortunate that the New Jersey legislature has failed to recognize that energy production and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. The bill to impose a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, the process through which we are able to extract clean, abundant and American natural gas, is based on fear rather than the facts.
"New Jersey has long recognized the clean air benefits of natural gas when used to generate electricity and power vehicles. It is the nation's 11th largest consumer of natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas is the main energy source used to heat more than two-thirds of the state's households. And, New Jersey uses natural gas to fuel many of its state and municipal fleets, including trash trucks and public buses in several communities. In fact, with a grant from the Department of Energy, cities throughout New Jersey are cleaning up the Garden State by converting fleets and building infrastructure to accommodate natural gas vehicles.
"While New Jersey may not have significant supplies of natural gas, even a symbolic ban on hydraulic fracturing is an irresponsible step. Natural gas drilling is conducted safely and responsibly every day in communities across the country. Our industry has a six decade track record of safety and we are committed to answering people's questions in the communities where we work about the measures we take to ensure the safety of our process.
"Natural gas is an economic engine in America, responsible for supporting more than 2.8 million American jobs and for contributing $385 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Even in a state like New Jersey, that has very little natural gas, our community supports more than 25,000 jobs and contributes $5.5 billion annually to the state's economy.
"To ban the practice that produces this fuel is a classic case of not in my backyard. It is our hope that New Jersey will continue to advance its economy and air quality through greater use of clean, abundant and American natural gas. We also hope that state legislators will revisit their decision and be more open in the future to learning the facts and the science behind the safe and responsible development of this important American resource."
America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) represents 30 of North America's leading independent natural gas exploration and production companies. ANGA members are dedicated to increasing the appreciation of the environmental, economic and national security benefits of clean, abundant, American natural gas. Learn more about ANGA at www.anga.us.
SOURCE America's Natural Gas Alliance