U.S. Chemical Investment Linked to Shale Gas Reaches $100 Billion
Potential U.S. chemical industry investment linked to plentiful and affordable natural gas has topped $100 billion. These projects—new factories, expansions, and process changes to increase capacity—could lead to $81 billion per year in new chemical industry output and 637,000 permanent new jobs across the economy by 2023.
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Access to vast new supplies of American natural gas from shale deposits is one of the most exciting domestic energy developments in decades, particularly for the business of chemistry—energy policies must enable access to this immense supply of natural gas while protecting the environment.
Energy In Depth VIDEO: U.S. Shale Brings Manufacturing Back to America
American chemistry relies on abundant, affordable natural gas as a source of energy and as a raw material, or “feedstock,” for countless chemical products. The relatively low price of natural gas gives U.S. manufacturers an advantage over competitors in other parts of the world that rely on a more expensive oil-based feedstock.
Growth in domestic natural gas production reduces prices and creates a more stable supply. It is estimated that U.S. shale deposits contain 100 years of natural gas supply. This shale gas is a “game changer” that is rejuvenating America’s chemistry industry – and can strengthen U.S. manufacturing, boost exports, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and improve our nation’s energy security.
The process of extracting natural gas from shale deposits includes hydraulic fracturing, during which fluids and solids are pumped into the well. Proper government oversight and product stewardship is needed to protect the surrounding environment.
ACC’s Policy Position
A comprehensive energy strategy must increase the production of domestic energy supplies while implementing balanced regulatory policies that protect our environment.
To maximize the national benefits of shale gas, energy policy must avoid undue restrictions on natural gas supplies from shale deposits.
State oversight of hydraulic fracturing is appropriate since state governments have the knowledge to oversee the process in their jurisdictions.
The use of various products of chemistry in hydraulic fracturing must be transparent while protecting proprietary information.
Government policies should not undermine the availability of domestic natural gas.
The business of chemistry is at the heart of manufacturing—access to shale gas is dramatically boosting America’s competitiveness and can help meet our nation’s goals for increased exports and new jobs.