The shale gas boom and what it means to our domestic energy security continues to attract the attention of industry leaders, academics and policymakers around the country. Yesterday, ACC President Cal Dooley joined many of these thought leaders and members of Congress in a leadership forum exploring the jobs and innovations fueled by the natural gas revolution.
The forum, hosted by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, was an excellent opportunity to learn from other stakeholders’ perspectives and to share the chemistry industry’s part of the shale gas story.
In particular, Dooley illustrated before the Committee the competitive advantage an increased supply in natural gas gives U.S. petrochemical manufacturers, leading to greater U.S. investment, economic output, and industry and job growth. Dooley also noted that shale gas could propel the U.S. chemical industry into a new “manufacturing golden age” where it would thrive “for a significant period of time,” before concluding:
A growing number of citizens are learning the importance of making things in the United States. We have a great opportunity not only with shale gas, but in developing a comprehensive energy policy that can be the foundation of a restored U.S. manufacturing capacity.
Among the other stakeholders present:
- Larry Nichols, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Devon Energy, who emphasized that, as drilling technology improves year after year, the associated environmental footprint becomes smaller and smaller, and that, still, there have been no known instances of groundwater contamination resulting from hydraulic fracturing;
- Daniel Yergin, Chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, who said that more than one million shale gas-related jobs have been created already, and that we could be looking at doubling that, assuming a predictable, reasonable environment in which people are willing to invest in their future;
- Lou Pugliaresi, President of Energy Policy Research Foundation, who made the point that, while oil and gas producing states are faring better economically than the national average, energy innovations in one part of the country can nonetheless benefit the entire country;
- Steven Holditch, Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, who confirmed for the Committee that shale source rocks have “changed the game for U.S. energy security;”
- David Neslin, Director of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, who, representing a prominent outdoor recreation state, affirmed his commitment to strike the right balance between natural gas regulations, jobs and environmental health.
Note: In the video above, the discussion begins at the 16:30 mark.