In USA Today, Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation rattles off six facts to set the record straight on why President Obama should approve the Keystone XL pipeline:
Shale energy supports 377,000 jobs in the manufacturing, chemical, and energy transportation industries, according to a new IHS study. This is in addition to the 1.7 million jobs supported by shale energy extraction.
The report finds that shale energy production will increase manufacturing output by $258 billion by 2020 and $328 billion by 2025. In addition, $216 billion will be invested in manufacturing and energy transportation (trucking, rail, pipelines, etc.) between 2012 and 2025.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy said:
The study shows that shale energy development increased the real disposable income of the average American household by more than $1,200 in 2012, providing further evidence that energy is America’s true stimulus, creating more jobs than any other industry today.
This income boost is due to cheaper input costs for manufacturers--oil and natural gas are used in plastics, pharmaceuticals, and fertilizers--and lower energy prices for both households and industry.
The study warned that job creation and economic growth would be hurt if the federal government imposes regulations on hydraulic fracturing that duplicates state efforts. With new federal regulations, the report estimates a 52% decrease in shale energy production by 2025, which will result in:
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told Fox Business such federal efforts are unnecessary because there isn't a regulatory gap at the state level:
States have been regulating hydraulic fracturing, not just over the last couple of years, but for decades…. We have a robust regulatory regime that has been regulating this for quite some time.
“The federal government is risking the only reliable sector of job growth in the entire economy,” said Harbert.
This is the third of a three-part study on shale. Read all parts here: http://www.energyxxi.org/shale
— Energy Institute (@Energy21) September 4, 2013
Mischa Barton is making a zombie fracking movie with Billy Zane http://t.co/PZ3MB36ezK
— HuffPostEnt (@HuffPostEnt) August 29, 2013
Social media scientist (yes, they exist) Dan Zarrella tweeted:
We used to actually make things in America. Actually we still do and they're pretty awesome: http://t.co/KGvZI7aCHt
— Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) September 3, 2013
For a glimpse at American manufacturing's resurgence, look to the Southeast.
Parade magazine featured Nester Hosiery’s line of “Farm to Feet” socks made of wool raised from American sheep and manufactured in the USA. “Folks want to know more about where their products come from,” says Kelly Nester, president of the Mount Airy, NC company.
NPR highlighted Dalton, GA, the “Carpet Capital of the World,” which is on the rebound after a decade of economic decline:
Engineered Floors is investing $450 million in two new manufacturing facilities and a distribution center in the area. The Dalton expansion is part of a resurgence in manufacturing in Georgia and it reflects an optimistic outlook for manufacturing across the Southeast.
These examples may be leading indicators for further U.S. manufacturing growth. CNBC cites a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report that finds that “it could be America's turn to be on the receiving end of production shifts, as more companies use the U.S. as a low-cost export platform." The report states:
We project that the U.S., as a result of its increasing competitiveness in manufacturing, will capture $70 billion to $115 billion in annual exports from other nations by the end of the decade. About two-thirds of these export gains could come from production shifts to the U.S. from leading European nations and Japan. By 2020, higher U.S. exports, combined with production work that will likely be “reshored” from China, could create 2.5 million to 5 million American factory and service jobs associated with increased manufacturing.
The report continues:
Among the biggest drivers of this advantage will be the costs of labor (adjusted for productivity), natural gas, and electricity. As a result, we estimate that the U.S. could capture up to 5 percent of total exports from these developed countries by the end of the decade. The shift will be supported by a significant U.S. advantage in shipping costs in important trade routes compared with other major manufacturing economies.
BCG estimates that “companies will increasingly use the U.S. as a low-cost export base for the rest of the world” as well as bring production into the U.S. to replace imported goods.
To ensure American manufacturing flourishes, from a policy standpoint, we should heed Stephen Gold’s advice. Speaking at a July U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation manufacturing event, the president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) pushed for more trade agreements, not impeding the energy boom, reducing duplicative regulations, and shrinking the skills gap through education reform.
On May 17, President Obama gave a major infrastructure policy speech at a Baltimore company that makes dredging equipment. The day before, the president’s host, Ellicott Dredges, LLC, President Peter Bowe, testified before the House Small Business Committee in support of the Keystone XL pipeline—the same pipeline whose approval has been held up by the Obama administration for years.
Bowe’s ability to stay above the partisan fray and align with policymakers of all political stripes to advance pro-growth policies speaks to his savvy advocacy skills. “It was an interesting experience,” Bowe says of the president’s visit to Ellicott Dredges. “He said nice things about us and talked about infrastructure in an interesting way, which was good to hear.”
Ellicott Dredges is the oldest and largest U.S. manufacturer of dredging equipment. The company built all of the dredges used in the original construction of the Panama Canal over a century ago. Since its founding in 1885, Ellicott has built more than 2,500 dredges with prices as high as $30 million and as low as $100,000. These dredges are used not just for canals, ports, and niche markets like beach restoration, but more often for mining and environmental projects. For example, in the case of Canadian oil sands production, the equipment is used in the reclamation of tailing ponds, which are ponds of wastewater left over from the extraction process.
Bowe, who’s been with Ellicott for 31 years, has been a vocal supporter of Keystone. During his May testimony, he said that the 125-year-old company, which sells equipment to companies developing Canadian oil sands, has been hurt by the protracted federal approval process for the pipeline.
“For us, it’s all about jobs,” Bowe said. Currently, Ellicott has 250 employees in four locations. If approved, the Keystone project would generate jobs “for decades to come, all related to the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands deposits.” Ellicott Dredges isn’t an isolated case, according to Bowe. “About 2,500 U.S. companies export goods and services to Canada in support of oil sands,” he told lawmakers.
Bowe says the timing of his testimony and the president’s plant tour were unintentional, but henotes that “it did create quite the hubbub. While I didn’t mention the Keystone challenge and opportunity, I did point out that lower energy costs are important to the competitive environment for U.S. manufacturing,” says Bowe. “He’s a smart guy. I’m sure he got my point.”
Because more than half of Ellicott’s products are exported to more than 20 countries, Bowe is also a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which often provides financing for overseas purchases of Ellicott’s equipment.
No matter what issue he’s speaking on, Bowe says that he tries to “present the message in a way that resonates,” adding that he doesn’t have any interest in pulling punches, whether he’s talking to Congress or the president of the United States. “I’m old enough and stupid enough to tell them what I think.”
The Bureau of Land Managmement (BLM) failed to make the case for new regulations on hydraulic fracturing according to the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
In a statement, Christopher Guith, vice president for policy at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy said the new rule was “fundamentally unnecessary.”
In its comments to BLM, the Energy Institute states:
BLM has made no determination that state regulatory programs are inadequate. Thus, BLM is increasing operating costs and reducing production without benefit to the long—term interest of Americans, counter to BLM’s mission. As a prudent manager of federal lands, BLM should withdraw the proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing.
What’s more, based on history, these duplicative regulations “will likely to slow or impede drilling activity.” In other words, if this rule goes into effect, it’s likely that oil and natural gas production on federal and Indian lands will continue to fall.
That will be a missed opportunity for improving American energy security.
Because they best understand their unique geologies and economies, individual states are best able to regulate the safe use of hydraulic fracturing. “BLM has presented no evidence that the robust state regulations already in place are not sufficient to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” he Guith.
Instead of trying to fix what isn’t broken, BLM should withdraw this rule.