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Natural gas key to U.S. energy, mayor says

Feb. 10, 2012 at 6:37 AM

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Developing the U.S. natural gas sector is a way to safeguard the nation's energy security, the mayor of Pittsburgh said alongside the U.S. energy secretary.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu met with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and representatives from the natural gas industry for a tour of the National Energy Technology Laboratory and to discuss local investments in energy innovations.

Ravenstahl said city leaders should take a leadership position when it comes to making decisions on energy and energy efficiency.

"By developing the natural gas supply into a sustainable energy resource, we will create jobs, become more self-sufficient and continue to grow our economy," he said in a statement.

Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a measure on natural gas drilling this week. The bill would send 60 percent of a fee pegged to natural gas prices to communities where drilling takes place and the other 40 percent to mostly green initiatives in the state.

Chu's department said the natural gas sector could add hundreds of thousands of jobs to a weakened U.S. economy.

Pennsylvania hosts part of the Marcellus shale play, one of the richer natural gas deposits in the United States.

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