Shifts in how and where the United States gets its energy is driving big changes in the utility industry and the national economy as a whole.
Low natural gas prices due to new drilling in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states are driving down heating costs for consumers and energy supply costs for industry, said Karl Stanley, NIPSCO vice president of commercial operations
The new discoveries also are getting energy companies to think about exporting natural gas, when less than a decade ago some were looking at new means of importing the valuable commodity.
New technology is increasing domestic oil supplies as well, but not having as big an impact on prices as those are set on the international market, as opposed to natural gas which is mainly priced domestically.
An appeals court ruling against a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cross-state pollution rule over the summer may have given some coal-fired electric generating plants a new lease on life, Stanley said. But the trend toward cleaner burning natural gas for electric production continues.