Great question. Cheap natural gas certainly provides a competitive advantage to manufacturers, and the proximity to that gas provides yet another advantage – the closer you are to the resource, the less you have to pay in pipeline transportation costs.
As for energy prices, that’s a bit trickier to answer. As you probably know, crude oil is a global commodity and priced on the global market. Natural gas on the other hand, is a regional commodity and the price can vary from one state to another and in some cases, the prices can be different in the same state. When you look at electricity rates, somewhat of an equalizer, Pennsylvania was just above the national average in 2011 at $10.45 per kilowatthour.