In late January, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) was named the newly-elected co-chair of the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus. Like his fellow co-chair, Democrat Tim Ryan of Ohio, Reed is committed to connecting the dots that link bountiful supplies of inexpensive natural gas from shale to prosperity and job growth.
As Reed told reporters in a recent interview:
Shale gas is a game changer that will strengthen the American economy for decades to come. Our region has been blessed with plentiful natural gas reserves, and manufacturers will play a key role in developing those resources.
Since 2003, the caucus has collaborated with industry leaders seeking ways to bolster the manufacturing sector and create jobs. Caucus members have long articulated the message that the revitalization of manufacturing is a prerequisite for a strong economy-wide recovery from the Great Recession.
Abundant supplies of affordable natural gas could bolster efforts in New York to encourage investments in manufacturing that will produce jobs, especially in those areas that have endured hard times for decades, reviving the state’s industrial base. Reed said:
I cannot emphasize enough the opportunity that the shale gas and the tight-sand oils represent for us — when it comes to that manufacturing rebirth and renaissance. That will do so much to strengthen our American economy, and that means strengthening America for generations to come.
New York can leverage supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to revive the Empire State’s manufacturing sector, which lost almost 40 percent of its manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010. New York is well-positioned to capitalize on shale gas developments to jump start its economy, rejuvenate upstate’s industrial base and create tens of thousands of a high-paying jobs.
Start with the chemical industry, which relies on natural gas not only for heat and power, but also for feedstock used in just about every manufacturing product.
An American Chemistry Council study found that investments in a new chemical plant in New York, the nation’s fifth largest chemical-producing state, would stimulate an additional $7.4 billion in chemical industry revenue; create 14,000 new jobs just in the chemical and supplier industries; put roughly $1 billion annually into the pockets of New Yorkers and generate more than $171 million in much-needed state revenues.