CEA President David Holt discussed the future of natural gas development in Florida with the Jacksonville Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Florida Times Union: 

“I think Jacksonville is very well situated as kind of a conduit for the rest of the state of Florida,” Holt said Thursday. “But also, possibly it can be a facilitation area for CNG [compressed natural gas] and LNG [liquified natural gas], from an export perspective and also as a regional hub.”

Kevin Doyle, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Consumer Energy Alliance, will be part of the JAXChamber presentation and said Jacksonville is poised for a major impact on the local economy.

“It’s in a perfect location to be a logistics center, a transportation center,” Doyle said. “I think it’s huge potential, if you look at other ports that have really embraced natural gas and using energy as a tool for commerce development. Jobs are created, infrastructure is created, there are huge capital investments that equal construction jobs and equal transportation jobs.”

Holt pointed to new technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling as the catalyst for “an energy renaissance” underway in the United States.

“Natural gas development has been a game changer for our country and states like Florida and cities like Jacksonville are benefiting and are in a position to capitalize on huge economic development if the right policies are in place.”

The Future

Holt thinks Jacksonville is in a great position to capitalize on this economic opportunity. Great Port, great railroads, and it is a transportation hub. Can be a natural gas hub and energy center for Florida. Maritime refueling using natural gas, CSX is converting some locomotives working with GE to run on natural gas.

A Warning 

Holt did have a warning for Florida. According to Tallahassee.com, “Florida ranks fifth nationally in natural gas consumption, fourth in petroleum consumption and third in retail electricity sales.”

“Natural gas makes up over 60 percent of baseline for power consumption. If supply is threatened, then states like Florida and Florida’s consumers are at risk – price hikes and slower economic development.”