Natural gas is playing a big role in helping extend Michigan’s proud legacy of manufacturing and technology while protecting the state’s rich natural beauty and creating jobs.

More than 17,000 Michiganders are employed in jobs directly related to natural gas – and more than 121,000 are employed through the entire natural gas supply chain. And with over 3.5 million natural gas customers who rely on the industry for their heat and hot water needs across the Great Lakes state, the economic benefits of natural gas totaled $16.75 billion dollars in 2015 alone.

Natural gas helps power Michigan.

In 2015, there were a total of 3.48 million natural gas customers in Michigan. They consumed $5.15 billion of natural gas in homes and businesses statewide.

Most of those customers are Michigan’s 3.2 million residential consumers who use natural gas for heat, hot water and cooking. Nearly 8,000 industrial customers also use natural gas to power their businesses and industries every day. Over 90 power plants in the state rely on natural gas, servicing Michigan by helping to provide electricity to homes and businesses state-wide.

Natural gas in Michigan is a $16 billion industry.

Every year, natural gas contributes to sustaining and increasing the state of the economy in Michigan.

Natural gas production, infrastructure and end-use work resulted in 121,225 jobs for Michiganders last year, with $7.5 billion in income paid directly to those employed in the natural gas sector.

Michigan is proof that natural gas contributes to diversifying an economy and promoting growth. It’s an industry that sustains jobs across such varied sectors as manufacturing, construction, maintenance, transportation and distribution.

Natural gas helps protect Michigan’s environment.

Natural gas can dramatically reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere; 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 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.

For a state with such rich natural beauty and important economic engines that rely on clean air and water, natural gas is helping improve Michigan’s air quality and the environment while also saving consumers and businesses money and generating real economic value for the state.