The First State has always had an outsized influence on the rest of the nation, and natural gas helps to keep powering the way forward. From poultry farming to financial services, homemaking to real estate, Delaware’s industries have come to depend on the affordable, reliable energy produced from natural gas.

With almost 8,000 jobs related to the natural gas industry, and over $1 billion contributed to the state economy in 2015, natural gas is playing a big role in helping extend Delaware’s legacy.

Natural gas supports job and energy security in Delaware.

Delaware’s natural gas industry employed nearly 8,000 workers in 2015, with employment numbers over the years proving stable. These consistent jobs support more than just the 160,000 residential customers who rely on natural gas; over 13,000 commercial and industrial customers also use natural gas to power their businesses.

Energy-intensive chemical, food-processing and petroleum-refining industries located in Delaware depend on natural gas. The industrial sector is the largest energy-consuming sector in the state and produces hundreds of millions of dollars for the state’s economy. Delaware is proof that natural gas contributes to supporting a diversified economy and promoting growth.

Delaware residents depend on natural gas.

Though one of the smallest states in the nation, Delawareans don’t let that hold them back; the state holds a position as one of the top states for energy use per capita. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, two in five Delaware homes use natural gas to heat their homes. Each year, natural gas valued at a half-billion dollars is delivered to residential customers for end-use consumption, powering daily lives from cooking, to heating water and air, to drying laundry. Over 160,000 customers in Delaware who regulate temperature in their homes and businesses are served by the benefits of natural gas each year.

Natural gas helps protect Delaware’s environment.

From Bethany Beach to the Brandywine Zoo, clean air and a healthy environment are just part of what makes Delaware’s natural attractions so popular. Natural gas can dramatically reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. For example, when used to generate electricity, natural gas produces half the CO2 emissions of coal. As the use of natural gas by electricity-generating plants has increased, power sector CO2 emission levels are at their lowest levels in nearly 30 years.

In fact, natural gas can have such a profound impact on emissions that the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that switching to natural gas accounted for almost two-thirds of the CO2 emission reductions from 2006 to 2014. And the environmental benefits associated with natural gas go well beyond CO2 reductions. Greater use of natural gas in power generation will also reduce NOx, SO2, PM, acid gasses, Hg and non-Hg heavy metal emissions. Natural gas is helping keep Delaware the Small Wonder.