Contact: Jennifer Scott (202) 249-6512
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2012) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) applauded a White House report released this week that credits abundant and affordable supplies of domestic natural gas from shale for helping to revive the nation’s manufacturing sector and fuel America’s economic rebound. The report, “Investing in America: Building an Economy That Lasts,” identifies the chemical industry as one of the manufacturing sectors benefiting from the natural gas production boom.
According to the report:
Just several years ago, leaders of the domestic organic chemical industry predicted that shortages in natural gas would dramatically raise the domestic price of natural gas, one of their key inputs. Without the prospect for adequate domestic supplies of natural gas at reasonable prices, companies increasingly pointed to overseas operations where they could access large quantities of low cost natural gas.
Since the mid-2000s, however, the discovery of new natural gas reserves, such as the Marcellus Shale, and the development of hydraulic fracturing techniques to extract natural gas from these reserves has led to rapidly growing domestic production and relatively low domestic prices for households and downstream industrial users.
“America’s chemistry industry is glad to see the White House connecting the dots linking stable and plentiful natural gas supplies to U.S. economic prosperity and jobs,” ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley said. “We’re now looking to the Obama Administration, Congress and state officials to make sure policies and regulations allow us to capitalize on this significant domestic energy source while protecting our environment.”
The report was released as part of an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum focused on companies that are bringing jobs and investment back to the United States. It cited a number of chemistry companies that have announced plans to make major investments in new U.S. facilities over the next several years. “Access to untapped supplies of natural gas is one of the most important domestic energy developments in 50 years,” Dooley continued. “This report is further evidence that natural gas is a game changer—for the chemistry industry, U.S. manufacturers and America.”
An ACC study confirms the potential for shale gas to create jobs in the chemical sector, its supplier industries and the broader economy while growing output, employee wages and federal, state and local tax revenues. ACC found that natural gas could revitalize manufacturing and could produce tens of thousands of jobs in states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania that have suffered during the recent recession.
According to the White House report, “If harnessed in a safe and responsible manner, natural gas resources present an extraordinary opportunity to lower input costs for many manufacturers and to create, according to most analyses, several hundred thousand new manufacturing jobs in the coming years.”
Learn more about shale gas.