Natural Gas: 30 Ways NatGas Powers Thanksgiving

Do you know what affordable home heating, pajamas, football and refrigerators have in common? They all are made possible in some way by natural gas. Affordable, bountiful natural gas does more than just provide us with warm homes. It touches every facet of our lives. It can be easy to take natural gas for granted, but we should be thankful to have this resource.

As construction continues on the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, we’re thankful for all that natural gas has helped provide to millions of Americans. Here are 30 things natural gas has given us that we’re going to give thanks for Thursday:

High-paying jobs

A 2012 U.S. Department of Labor study found that the average annual pay in the natural gas industry was $107,198. That’s nearly $60,000 more than the average Pennsylvania salary!

Affordable energy

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that homes using heating oil this winter are expected to spend $215 more compared to last year, while homes using natural gas will spend only $69 more.

Footballs

Thanksgiving and football go together like Thanksgiving and turkey. Natural gas helps make football possible. The interior “bladder” of footballs is made of synthetic material derived from natural gas. The “bladder” makes it possible to inflate the football.

Renewed communities across Pennsylvania

Thousands of natural gas industry jobs have helped revive communities and economies across the state, especially in northern and western Pennsylvania.

Antifreeze

The most common antifreeze products contain ethylene or propylene. Both are natural gas byproducts.

Winter scarves

Most scarves are manufactured from synthetic fibers comprised of chemicals such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide, which are derived from natural gas.

Snow tires

The modern rubber in tires features carbon black, a fine, sooty powder left over from natural gas. Carbon black is critical in tire formulations, because it helps disperse heat and stabilize the tire’s other components.

Warm homes

Cold winter nights can be awful. Thankfully, natural gas is there to ensure your home is warm and toasty at a more affordable cost than other options.

Cooking the feast

Are you making the turkey this year? Natural gas is probably powering your oven to make this possible.

Magic 8-Balls

We asked our Magic 8-Ball if it’s made from natural gas. The answer was “Without a doubt.” The plastic used to construct these popular toys is derived from natural gas byproducts.

Water bottles

Do you drink a lot of water? You can thank natural gas for the plastic bottles from which you drink.

Coffee cup lids

The plastic lid is an essential part of any good cup of joe, and most are created from natural gas byproducts.

Golf balls

Golf balls are constructed of plastic and rubber materials, both of which are created from natural gas.

Toothpaste bottles

The soft, squeezable toothpaste tubes usually are fashioned from a plastic that comes from natural gas. Who knew natural gas could be so minty fresh?

Prescription medication bottles

The famous orange bottles that hold prescription medication are typically made from polypropylene, a natural gas byproduct.

Perfume

The majority of mass-retail perfumes are synthetic compounds derived from petrochemicals.

Makeup

Lipstick, mascara, blush and many commercial makeup products are made from petrochemicals derived from natural gas.

Billions in state and local investment

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development reports the state is the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer. This has created a billion-dollar industry in the state, with one report estimating more than $10.5 billion in investments from new, natural gas-fired power production facilities alone.

U.S. energy independence

For too long, America has relied on foreign countries for its energy needs. That is no longer the case, because natural gas provides the country with a framework toward energy independence. One report suggests the U.S. could become a net energy exporter as soon as 2026.

Fertilizer

Most mass-market fertilizers contain ammonia, which is a common byproduct of natural gas.

Competitive energy markets

The Marcellus Shale boom has provided customers with a low-cost alternative to other types of energy. This has made Pennsylvania’s energy market more competitive, with consumers winning thanks to energy prices lower than the national average.

Cleaner-burning, more efficient electric generation

The EIA found that burning natural gas for energy results in “fewer emissions of nearly all types of air pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) than burning coal or petroleum products to produce an equal amount of energy.” This is in part due to rising efficiencies for natural gas requiring less feed for more power.

Refrigerators

Natural gas does more than keep us warm. It helps keep our food cold. Natural gas refrigerators use ammonia refrigeration and stay working when the electricity goes out.

Cellphones

Your cellphone is most likely constructed of plastic that is derived from natural gas.

Dentures

Most modern dentures use carbon-based dyes derived from natural gas byproducts for pigmentation.

Computers

Natural gas byproducts are what create the plastic parts for your computer and other electronics, such as your television and cellphone.

Pajamas

Your pajamas keep you warm while you sleep, just like the heat coming from your home. Both are thanks to natural gas. Most pajamas are made with synthetic fibers that are derived from natural gas byproducts.

Skis

Hitting the slopes this winter? The plastic in your skis most likely comes from natural gas.

Coffee makers

The plastic used in coffee makers is derived from natural gas byproducts.

Crayons

If you’re keeping the kids busy by having them color during Thanksgiving break, you can thank natural gas. One of the main ingredients in crayons, polyethylene, is a natural gas byproduct.

We hope you have a safe, wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!