Maryland is a state of innovation and possibilities. Its people are always striving for better communities, better businesses and better lives.

Affordable and reliable energy supports these ambitions, and there is perhaps no greater opportunity for progress than increasing the production and use of natural gas in Maryland.

Natural gas bridges each of these communities within the state – residents, industries, commercial entities – to create a powerful network prepared to build a legacy for the next generation.

Natural gas brings value to Maryland’s economy and environment.

Last year, natural gas added $4.9 billion in value to the Maryland economy from production to end-use, while helping maintain over 38,000 jobs – both direct and induced – ranging from construction and maintenance to engineering, retail and distribution. The results mean clean, affordable energy for 1.1 million households across the state.

In Maryland, the increasing number of households powered by natural gas is also a prime driver in helping bring U.S. emissions from electrical production to their lowest levels in 25 years. The effect on pollutants and greenhouse emissions has been dramatic.

There’s room for Maryland to grow in the future – and natural gas is the way forward.

Natural gas supports Maryland jobs.

There are more than 38,000 people working Maryland today thanks to natural gas.  From industrial construction to machinery repair and maintenance, to gas pipeline construction, the contribution of natural gas to the Maryland economy is undeniable, and could grow.

A report by the Sage Policy Group found that natural gas drilling in Maryland would support more than 1,800 jobs annually, with a labor income impact of more than $85 million. The value added to the economy is estimated at well over $316 million.

Additionally, a recent Towson RESI study concluded that new pipeline construction would add 7,318 jobs with a combined $349.7 million in wages each year over the next ten years, in addition to the $77 million in pipeline revenue that already exists within the state.

Natural gas protects the environment.

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.

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