Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on December 8, 2014
Much has been written about Philadelphia’s economy being driven by “eds and meds,” shorthand for education and health services, as well as entrepreneurship. There is another leg to the Philadelphia regional economy that is only starting to receive significant press – energy, which has the potential of even a more significant impact on employment and economic growth.
I attended the “Greater Philadelphia: The Next Energy Hub Summit” at Drexel University Dec. 5. I heard industry, labor, government, education and investment leaders speak about the incredible potential of Philadelphia’s close proximity to Marcellus shale natural gas production and the region’s unique infrastructure – oil refineries, pipeline systems, world-class ports, an extensive freight rail network and highly skilled workforce.
The benefits of economical Marcellus shale natural gas are already being felt in the Philadelphia region. Over the last decade the cost to heat one’s home with natural gas has significantly declined. Many homeowners over the past few years have converted from oil to less expensive natural gas to heat their homes, this writer included, realizing significant savings and a rapid payback on the investment to convert.