A new study from IHS Economics and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) shows that natural gas encouraged U.S. manufacturing growth and employment in recent years.
Manufacturers use natural gas for fuel, such as drying, melting, machine drive and space heating as well as a feedstock in refining, chemicals and primary metals sectors.
“Domestic natural gas has transformed the U.S. economy, made our companies more competitive, created jobs and put money back in the pockets of working Americans. But the story doesn’t end here. Over the next decade, demand for natural gas will increase dramatically, driven by manufacturing growth and electric power generation,” noted the NAM report.
According to NAM, the U.S. has more than enough supply to meet growing demand. But NAM officials argue that the country will need major investments in new infrastructure, particularly natural gas pipelines, to ensure manufacturers have a steady, reliable stream.
The NAM report included the following data:
• Expanded energy access—1.9 million jobs economy-wide in 2015
• Shale gas put an extra $1,337 back in the pocket of the average American family.
• New pipelines meant more than 347,000 jobs, with 60,000 in manufacturing.
• Total natural gas demand is poised to increase by 40% over the next decade. Key drivers will be manufacturing and power generation.
• U.S. supply is expected to increase by 48% over the next decade to meet new demand.