Who Says We Don’t Make Anything In America Anymore?

New Nat’l Poll: 80% of US Voters Back Job-Creating American Natural Gas Development

Canonsburg, Pa. – There’s a common perception that America’s manufacturing base has been significantly eroded, a function of increasing competition in the global marketplace and other factors. While it’s true that U.S.-based manufacturers are facing a host of challenges, the fact cannot be denied that responsible domestic natural gas production continues to be an economic game-changer for our region, our nation, and our manufacturing base. More affordable and stable supplies of clean-burning natural gas are strengthening our nation’s manufacturing base, and helping to create thousands of jobs during these historically challenging economic times.

And under the headline “Gas Drilling Boom Brings New Life To Steel Industry,” NPR reports today that “A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.” Here are several key excerpts from the story:

Joel Mastervich, the president and COO of Vallourec’s U.S. company, V&M Star, says Youngstown was an attractive place to build the new seamless pipe mill because … it’s close to the Marcellus Shale. “We’ll be able to produce the pipe, finish it here and send it to a customer that’s, maybe, 100 miles away,” says Mastervich. … With about 1,000 construction workers building the mill and the promise of 350 permanent workers down the road, launching her business now made sense.

Around the region, you can find many stories of businesses doing well because of the drilling boom — especially in Pennsylvania. … Doug Matthews is the senior vice president of tubular operations at U.S. Steel — his division makes the pipes and tubes the gas drilling industry uses. U.S. Steel is based in Pittsburgh and is still a big driver for the local economy. When it does well, so do its contractors, like Chapman Corp. in Washington, Pa.

Crews there are building a large new fabrication shop, as many engineering and construction firms are laying people off. “The $6 million investment that we’re putting into our new fabrication facility shows our confidence that the Marcellus Shale play is here to stay,” says Rich Tomsic, vice president for sales and marketing. That almost certainly will lead to more jobs in the region. It already has at a time much of the rest of the country is suffering.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry collects specific data on how many people have been hired because of the natural-gas drilling boom. Hiring for “core-related industries” has spiked from 5,501 in 2008 to 11,913 this year. “This is almost 117 percent growth,” says Sue Mukherjee, director of the agency’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis.

Our industry took this important message to President Obama this week, as his jobs council convened in Pittsburgh earlier this week “to address perhaps the most critical issue facing our nation: job creation.” In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column, Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber writes this under the headline “Domestic natural gas: At a time when we’re hungry for work, it’s the jobs plan America should embrace”:

As leaders of both parties work toward common sense solutions aimed at putting a dent in our 9.1 national unemployment rate, we urge the president and his jobs council to consider the positive economic sea change underway in our region. Pennsylvania continues to be the tip of our nation’s economic spear. The responsible development of shale gas is bringing about an economic renaissance — ushering in the type of job creation that our nation so desperately needs — that few could have projected just years ago. … Safe and responsible natural gas production has been taking place for decades, and we’re taking the steps needed to keep this job-creating industry sustainable for decades to come. We hope the president and leaders across the nation will embrace the historic economic, environmental and energy security opportunity that exists “in the shale under our feet.”

80% of American Consumers Support Job-Creating Natural Gas Development

  • American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI) Senior Fellow and survey research expert Anne Danehy said that the numbers were not a surprise. “Our survey confirmed what we suspected. Americans see a connection between U.S. energy projects and jobs.” … Eight out of ten [American voters] favor expanding natural gas exploration and drilling. … “These results show strong consumer support for expanding domestic energy production as a means to accomplish several important policy goals – achieving lower energy costs, reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources and creating jobs,” noted Danehy. (ACI Release, 10/13/11)

Pennsylvania Job-Creators Underscore Widespread Marcellus-Related Benefits

  • All Pennsylvanians will benefit from access to a clean burning fuel source that is home grown. In particular, an abundant source of natural gas will help reduce dependency on foreign oil, and strengthen our existing energy mix. The industry also offers direct and indirect opportunities for many Pennsylvania businesses, from equipment manufacturers and suppliers to trucking companies and hotels and restaurants. The industry is helping to strengthen the Commonwealth’s economy, while providing new job opportunities for residents. (PA Chamber Issue Brief, 10/12/11)

“Common Sense” Policies Will Bolster American Energy Security

  • Talk about creating private sector jobs! Not to mention the fact that Pennsylvania could lead the nation on the road to becoming energy independent, so that we don’t have to buy from Chavez and our so-called friends in the Middle East. (CBS-21’s RJ Harris, 10/10/11)

Affordable Power Alliance: Marcellus “Could Create Jobs, Boost Tax Revenues in Md.”

  • Drilling and production could also help thousands of small businesses that would provide goods, equipment and services to drilling, pipeline and related companies. In Maryland, 19 percent of these businesses are owned by African Americans — still more by other minorities. … Responsibly developing this vital, God-given shale gas resource would put thousands of Marylanders back to work, improve people’s living standards, generate billions of dollars in government revenues, help to balance county and state budgets and produce more American energy for all Americans. (Baltimore Sun Op-Ed, 10/12/11)