Ohio is on the brink of an economic and manufacturing renaissance, powered by the growing production in natural gas from shale that is driving investment in the state’s chemical industry and industrial base, American Chemistry Council president and CEO Cal Dooley said in a March 29 address at the City Club of Cleveland.
Dooley pointed to four factors essential to achieving the potential economic benefits of natural gas:
- Timely approval of permits for new projects
- Reasonable state-based regulations
- Stable infrastructure for natural gas transport
- Customized tax treatment to support business growth
Because of a sustained advantage in the price of chemical feedstock directly attributed to inexpensive natural gas, Dooley highlighted the growth prospects for the chemical industry, including $55 billion spent on 70 facilities across the United States. Dooley added: “Some of the new capacity is the result of new foreign direct investment in the United States.” Added Dooley:
Today, you can talk to every chemical leader — be they in the U.S., be they in Brazil, be they in India, be they in Europe — and each and every one of them are now talking about making major new investments in chemical manufacturing in the United States. And why is that the case? There is one reason and that is shale gas.
Dooley also emphasized the national benefits of abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas, including significant new investment in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Natural gas has also sparked by a dramatic turnaround in the chemical industry’s competitiveness in global markets, one that has dramatically increased exports.
The chemical industry produces $189 billion of exports annually – 12 percent of U.S. exports, Dooley said. Approximately 200,000 chemistry jobs in the U.S. depend on exports, he added.
Ohio remains one of ACC’s key states, especially in its ongoing From Chemistry to Energy campaign. In addition to his City Club speech, Dooley has spoken at the 21st Century Manufacturing Task Force event, the Ohio Energy Jobs Summit and Gov. John Kasich’s 21st Century Energy and Economic Summit.