In the United States, the benefits of the Shale Revolution have been significant, particularly in West Virginia. For example, oil and natural gas production supported about 40,000 jobs, generated $ 2.6 billion in labor income, and added $ 5.9 billion in value to West Virginia in 2019 alone.
As one of the state’s largest operators, EQT has invested $ 27.6 million in infrastructure, generated over $ 252 million in tax revenue, and our foundation has donated over $ 3.6 million. dollars last year to support local communities.
These quality of life improvements are the result of an increased supply of reliable and affordable energy and are not unique to West Virginia.
Higher energy consumption leads to a better quality of life and longer life expectancy – a concept firmly anchored in the Paris Agreement, as it recognizes that the effects of energy policies will be deeply felt by the billions of people. citizens of the world currently living in an energy deficit.
Natural gas is an essential component of the national and global energy supply of the future.
One of the most important benefits of natural gas is its impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, since 2007, household energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have declined at an average rate of 1.3% per year, largely due to large-scale replacement. coal-fired power plants and increased use of natural gas. and renewable.
The United States is fortunate to be among the minority of countries that have an abundance of exportable energy resources, such as natural gas, which can be used to replace the consumption of more energy-intensive sources of energy. broadcasts around the world. And, the data shows that the natural gas produced in the Appalachians is both the country’s lowest carbon and methane production.
For example, emissions from natural gas producers in the Appalachians are, in many cases, significantly lower than those of other foreign supply sources – less than half of those from Russia – and significantly lower than emissions from coal. . This represents significant opportunities for the United States, and more particularly for large natural gas producing states like West Virginia, to influence climate change globally. And local companies like EQT are driving real change in the area of climate and energy.
Last week, EQT announced targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2025 or earlier, reducing GHG emissions intensity by around 70% and methane emissions intensity by around 65%. These targets are industry leading and position EQT as one of, if not the first, major global producer to achieve net zero.
But this is not the finish line. Given its proximity to low-emission natural gas and an industry that is difficult to decarbonize, the region is poised to play a leading role in the future global energy ecosystem. And that’s why EQT has announced plans to invest tens of millions in proven technologies and promising innovations like blue hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
Natural gas is not “big oil”. Unlike foreign and integrated oil and gas companies, independent companies like EQT depend on sound energy policies that support our ambitions to leverage technology and innovation to meet our toughest challenges. As we seek a fundamental overhaul of our energy ecosystem, the energy industry must be sustainable, not selectively de-funded.
Any change in federal tax policy that punitively targets the industry, such as changing the current tax policy on intangible drilling costs (IDC), will only undermine our efforts, limiting the capital invested in innovation. and technologies to detect and capture emissions, while driving up energy prices.
Much of the great work we have done to invest in this region’s economy and our country’s environmental leadership has been influenced by our ability to recover our DTAs in accordance with long-standing federal tax policy. Eliminating IDCs would be a step backwards.
Our ability to provide well-paying jobs, invest in local communities and drive the low-carbon energy transition with investments in innovation and technology would be jeopardized if the current tax policy on CDIs were changed. .
The natural gas industry is important to West Virginia, IDCs are important to our industry – and the success of our industry is vital to the United States as it leads the global low-carbon energy transition.
Toby Rice is President and CEO of EQT Corp., the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. He also sits on the board of directors of the American Exploration and Production Council.