The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Industry

Energy Infrastructure is Key to Maintaining Winter Heating Savings

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted December 16, 2015

In November, Americans were grateful for the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices in seven years. Thanks largely to the American energy resurgence, drivers continue to enjoy relief at the pump – with the national average close to $2.00, according to AAA.

As winter approaches, the good news continues with the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Winter Fuels Outlook. Due to a “combination of warmer weather and lower fuel prices,” EIA projects household heating costs will be lower than the previous two winters.

For the nearly half of U.S. households that use natural gas for heating, costs will drop a projected $64 compared to last winter’s average. Savings are also expected for homes using propane ($322 less), heating oil ($459 less) and electricity ($30).

Overall, the hydraulic fracturing-driven American energy resurgence is saving American families an average $1200 each year per household.

To keep affordable energy flowing to businesses and consumers – and to generate even more economic growth – more energy infrastructure is needed. Updating America’s energy infrastructure could generate up to $1.15 trillion in new private capital investment, support 1.1 million new jobs and add $120 billion on average per year to our nation’s GDP over the next decade, according to a study by IHS.

On the other hand, failure to invest in energy infrastructure can raise costs. In New England, for example, a recent study projects the region’s households and businesses could see their energy prices increase $5.4 billion between 2016 and 2020 unless they expand natural gas and electricity infrastructure.

Recent polling shows 80 percent of American voters support increased development of America’s energy infrastructure. Policymakers at all levels should follow their lead and make energy infrastructure investment a priority.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.

Energy Tomorrow is a project of the American Petroleum Institute – the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry – speaking for the industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media.