Exec: Natural gas industry helps eliminate energy poverty

Joe Massaro


Natural gas is helping eliminate energy poverty nationally and globally, according to remarks made this morning at Shale Insight.

“The gas we’re developing right here in the Appalachian basin is leading to lower energy prices for consumers across the country,” said Sarah Battisti (pictured above), Southwestern Energy vice president of government and community affairs.

Stanford Natural Gas Initiative’s managing director Bradley Ritts also discussed the problem of access to energy, telling the crowd that reliable electricity is not available to 1.2 billion people globally.

“Clearly, there’s a gap between energy access in the developing world and the resources that we have,” Ritts said.

Three billion people worldwide use biomass for cooking fuel, Ritts said, because “they do not have access to other sources of cooking fuel and home heating.”

This use of biomass has led to deforestation, air pollution, smoke and particulate matter indoors, and health issues, Ritts noted.

“Is limited energy access the cause of poverty or the result of poverty?” Ritts asked.

As the U.S. promotes natural gas globally, developing countries will be afforded immediate greenhouse gas reductions and additional air quality benefits due to decreased coal dependence, Ritts said.

“The growth of [liquefied natural gas] supply has led to lower global prices, enabling more countries to become importers, making energy access affordable,” Ritts said.

Maribeth Anderson, West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association director and board president, told Shale Insight attendees that they need to “absolutely look forward” to future opportunities.

“Make no mistake,” Anderson told the crowd at the David L. Lawrence Center, “the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays are some of the most prolific shale plays in history.”

The Stream is continuing to cover the final day of Shale Insight 2017, so follow us here and on Twitter (@TheStream_Hub) for all the latest.


Joe Massaro

Joe Massaro is based in Bravo Group's Pittsburgh office and has deep energy industry expertise. He previously served as the field director for a Pennsylvania-based oil and gas industry grassroots PR firm.

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