Last week President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made a trip to the heart of Marcellus Shale country to tout job training programs offered at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). Much like President Obama’s last trip to the region, he and the Vice President credited domestic shale development for the re-shoring and expansion of American Manufacturing.
Vice President Joe Biden had this to say on American manufacturing in the region:
“This year 53 percent of the American companies … in China said they’re either planning on coming back to the United States and set up manufacturing, or they’re thinking about it — investing, hiring here at home.”
This is something we’ve been following here at Energy In Depth for a long time. Abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas and associated liquids, which manufacturers use as feedstocks for many of the products we use in our daily lives, have made the United States one of the lowest cost countries in which companies can invest.
Vice President Biden went on to say:
“And now there’s an energy boom. You all know about the Marcellus Shale — I think you heard of that, right? There’s an energy boom that’s changed the paradigm of manufacturing. It’s cheaper to manufacture in the United States than it is in Europe and/or in Asia.”
This idea of re-shoring is something many people thought we would never see in the United States. But, thanks to advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and the abundant supplies of affordable energy they have unleashed, this is now a reality.
This re-shoring of American manufacturing is also bringing many well-paying jobs to the region.
During his visit to CCAC President Obama stated:
“Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”
From steel to plastics, Marcellus Shale development has been a shot in the arm for these industries. A report from the American Chemistry Council anticipates that almost 100 announced plastics and chemicals expansions over the past five years could create more than 500,000 permanent jobs and $71.7 billion in potential new investment here in the United States.
With shale development continuing across the country and becoming more efficient every day, we can expect this manufacturing boom – fueled by affordable and abundant energy – to continue to supply hard working Americans with well-paying jobs for many years to come.