Over at the U.S. Department of Energy’s EIA.gov, we learn that Natural gas use is up among industrial consumers.
EIA.gov: Natural gas use for industrial purposes was more than 3%, or 0.6 billion cubic feet per day, greater during the first five months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Higher industrial gas usage reflects recent economic gains and sustained, historically low natural gas prices that have provided operators of natural gas-intensive industrial facilities in the United States a cost advantage relative to competing facilities that rely on higher-cost energy sources.
Industrial customers form an important gas-use sector, using natural gas for a variety of purposes, including the following:
Firing boilers for steam needs
Direct heating for melting, baking, or drying commodities, such as in steel, paper, glass, and food
Operating a combined heat and power (CHP) facility, which provides both heat and local electricity to run a factory, instead of buying electricity from the grid
Overall this means that the economic engine of the United States is beginning to pick up, due in large part to affordable and available natural gas. More demand for natural gas means American industry is making more “things,” hiring more workers, contributing more to the tax base and powering the economy.