THE SOURCE - Fall 2015 - (Page 30)

feature Shale and Natural Gas Lead U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence J By David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance ust a short time ago, domestic manufacturing-the one-time, welloiled engine that helped power the economy-was in the middle of a record-breaking decline with the elimination of more than 6 million jobs, many of which were sent overseas. The fallout weakened the middle class and the American cities that depend on manufacturing to support them, and analysts said conditions would only worsen. But thanks to advancements in technology and the advent of new drilling techniques, which has lowered energy costs for Americans coast to coast, manufacturing's worst-case scenario never unfolded. Instead, the world's largest energy consumer- America-is now awash in so much shale gas that it has unexpectedly emerged as the new world leader in energy development. And almost every layer of the economy has come out a winner, especially manufacturing. That's because the energy boom that propelled U.S. shale production to historical peaks and helped cut U.S. carbon emissions to near 20-year lows has made the power needed to run operations here cheaper and more cost effective. As a result, manufacturers that sent operations overseas have considered moving their operations back 30 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS home; many either have already or have begun doing so. In fact, the Boston Consulting Group says that more than 50 percent of U.S.based manufacturing firms worth at least $1 billion and have operations in China are discussing whether they will send portions or all of their production back home. Even foreign-based manufacturers, especially those based in Europe, are moving their operations to America. The National Association of Manufacturers explains that America is now more attractive for manufacturing because it beats most of its foreign counterparts in almost every conceivable way. In China, wages are not only increasing, but so are air pollution levels, real estate prices and energy costs-all financial categories that now lean in America's favor. The energy market is also far higher in Europe than it is in the U.S. The developing "onshoring" trend has sent both innovation and investment in American manufacturing skyrocketing. And thanks to lower energy overhead, manufacturers now have the resources to hire more; and it shows. President Barack Obama says that manufacturing has added more than 500,000 jobs since the beginning of the decade, and the Federal Reserve says that affordable natural gas has boosted job creation since 2006. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meanwhile, reports that energy-intensive manufacturing sectors added more than 196,000 jobs between 2010 and 2012. IHS Global Insights, a consulting and forecasting firm, estimates that

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Fall 2015

First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Senator Gardner
APGA Responds to Efficiency Standards
Georgia Forms New State Association
Greenest CNG Station Opens in Tennessee
Factors that Fuel the Decision to Switch to CNG
Emerging CSST Products
Debut of the Gas Equipment & Appliance Conference
New Management Program for a Growing System
Shale and Natural Gas Lead U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Fall 2015