Natural Gas + Infrastructure = American Manufacturing

American’s shale-driven manufacturing renaissance can be strengthened further with the right policies, collaboration as well as the continued build-out of critical infrastructure. As Harvard Business School experts have found, “low energy costs benefit both large and small businesses and will lead to a large number of middle-skills jobs that pay attractive wages.”

Locally, this is especially true. MSC president David Spigelmyer told the Beaver County Times this week that there’s “absolutely no question” that western Pennsylvania could again be a global leader in manufacturing, but the right infrastructure – and policy – has to be in place. Spigelmyer added:

Critical infrastructure must continue to be developed to ensure that we secure America’s shale-driven competitive edge in the global marketplace, especially as it relates to manufacturing and broader end-use opportunities that benefit consumers.”

It’s easy to see why Vice President Biden recently said that “thanks to our abundance of natural gas…North America is the new epicenter of energy in the world.”

Here’s what they’re saying about clean-burning American natural gas:

  • Natural Gas Cuts Consumer Energy Costs: New Jersey natural gas customers can expect a price break this winter, the latest reduction in energy costs that have cut one utility’s bills by more than half since 2009. Service Electric & Gas Co. on Wednesday proposed to reduce residential gas bills by 7.4%, saving customers $64 per year. South Jersey Gas proposed reductions of 3.7%, or $4.39, to monthly residential gas bills. The price reductions are ascribed to…domestic shale gas. Fracking has increased supplies of oil and gas and pushed down the costs for many forms of energy. (Phila. Inq., 6/2/16)
  • Natural Gas Created Environmental, Economic Benefits: Thanks to the shale revolution, the U.S. has gone from the prospect of natural gas scarcity to real abundance. This new abundance benefits consumers and our allies and it helps cut CO2 emissions. … Lower-cost natural gas benefits American consumers and American manufacturing. Last year, the Brookings Institution estimated that the shale gas boom saves American consumers about $48 billion per year. … On May 9, EIA reported that since 2005, the U.S. has cut its CO2 emissions by about 700 million tons, that’s far more than any other country. Why the decrease? The EIA report specifically cited “the increased use of natural gas.” (Dallas Morning News column, 5/31/2016)
  • Fracking Bolsters American Security: Hydraulic fracturing has significantly bolstered America’s energy independence by unlocking an abundance of domestic oil and gas. In fact, our country has officially surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the global leader in natural gas and oil production, respectively. Equally important is that these newfound energy resources have delivered economic benefits to Americans. In 2012 the average U.S. household had an extra $1,200 thanks to the energy boom. The oil and gas industry, meanwhile, supports more than two million jobs — a number that is expected to grow to nearly five million by 2025. (Courier Journal column, 5/31/16)

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