Shale Drilling Cuts Energy Costs, Boosts Economy, Industry Study Says
By Jim Landers
The oil-and-gas boom is saving consumers thousands of dollars annually and tipping the scales in favor of U.S. makers of chemicals, steel, glass and other materials, says a study by consultant IHS Economics that was funded in part by the energy industry.
“It’s a positive story, and we’re at the beginning of it,” said IHS Vice President John Larson. “ The best is yet to come as you look at us connecting all the resources to end markets.”
The study released last week is the third installment of IHS’ “America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the U.S. Economy.”
Among the latest findings:
• The average American household had an extra $1,200 last year because of lower prices of natural gas, electricity and goods and services. The annual savings are expected to rise to $2,700 in 2020 and $3,500 in 2025.
• The boom had created 2.1 million direct and indirect jobs by the end of last year. The number is expected to reach almost 3.9 million by 2025.
Larson admitted that this upbeat outlook hasn’t given most consumers much to cheer about.
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