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Bipartisanship on domestic policy issues materializes about as often as a snow man in Washington, D.C. But across the political spectrum and around the country, endorsements for shale gas as a driver for manufacturing growth are popping up like Christmas trees.
From Gene Sperling…
Start with Gene Sperling, the Obama administration’s point man on economics as director of the White House National Economic Council. At a recent Washington energy forum, Sperling described how affordable natural gas prices are helping to persuade manufacturers to locate their factories and facilities in the United States.
[quote]Around 2006, I felt like when you were out making the case for why there should be more locations in the United States, as opposed to China [or] India, you felt a little bit like you had the wind in your face. . . . At this moment, you now see the wind much more at our back. There is much more of an economic case for people to be relocating, in-sourcing, bringing jobs back. … And no doubt the future of natural gas, lower cost, is just making the price calculation more attractive.[/quote]
From Gov. Rick Snyder…
Like Sperling, Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is a fan of natural gas. The governor recently unveiled a new plan for Michigan’s energy future that highlighted the benefits of natural gas for the state’s economy.
According to the Lansing State Journal, the Governor’s energy statement urged increased natural gas production in Michigan, the creation of a “strategic natural gas reserve” and improvements in the state’s natural gas infrastructure. The state needs “a stable, environmentally protective set of regulations that allow companies to create a business plan built around new natural supplies. . . . Michigan has done what it can in leading the way on this issue.”
From the DGA…
Meanwhile, the Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA) just issued a report on domestic energy that not only duly noted the importance of natural gas, but also made a key recommendation that states must “avoid implementing policies that undermine the availability of domestic natural gas.”
The DGA report also gave a nod to the chemical industry:
[quote]Shale gas energy development has important economic impacts for the chemical and manufacturing sectors. . . . Due to the increase in domestic shale gas production, U.S. manufacturers have an advantage over foreign competitors who use an oil-based raw material rather than ethane. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) determined that a 25 percent increase in the supply of ethane (derived from shale gas) could add over 400,000 jobs across the economy, provide over $4.4 billion annually in new federal, state and local tax revenue and spur $16.2 billion in capital investment by the chemical industry.[/quote]
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