As both an important producer and a major consumer of natural gas, the Buckeye state is already seeing the real-world benefits of natural gas production and use.

From the more than 188,000 well-paying jobs supported by the natural gas industry to the $26 billion in added value to the state’s economy in 2015 alone, natural gas is delivering big benefits to Ohio.

But there is more natural gas can to do help Buckeye residents and businesses. With additional support for natural gas infrastructure and increased use of natural gas for electric power generation and industrial power, Ohio will reap the benefits of natural gas for generations to come.

Natural gas boosts the Ohio economy.

Natural gas contributed $26 billion to the Ohio economy in 2015 with most of that sum – $16.4 billion – related to use by home owners and businesses.

More than $7 billion of the total came from natural gas infrastructure; Ohio boasts more than 26,500 gas producing wells across the state, along with 24 natural gas storage sites, 6 gas processing plants and nearly 10,000 miles of gas pipelines.

Thanks to its location in the Utica shale area, which also extends into Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Ohio continues to be an important natural gas production state. $3 billion of the total $26 billion in economic value is attributed to the production of natural gas in Ohio.

Ohio homes and businesses run on natural gas.

Natural gas isn’t just making a big difference to Ohio’s bottom economic line, it’s had a daily impact in homes from Cleveland to Cincinnati. In fact, nearly three-quarters of Ohio households rely on natural gas for their heat and hot water.

Of the 4.5 million households within Ohio, 3.3 million residential customers use natural gas to power some or multiple elements of their home; essentials such as heat (70 percent), hot water (21 percent) and fuel for cooking (4 percent) depend on natural gas.

When these residents leave their homes for work each day, many find themselves employed by one of the 6,500 industrial customers that also use natural gas in the Buckeye State.

Natural gas protects Ohio’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 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, keeping the air cleaner for Ohio families.