This morning the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with America’s natural gas resources.
President, Chairman, and CEO of AEA-member Dow Chemical Company Andrew Liveris spoke to the incredible power of natural gas to fuel robust and long-lasting manufacturing opportunities in the United States:
Manufacturing in the United States is undergoing a renaissance, facilitated in substantial part by reasonable and stable natural gas prices. For the first time in over a decade, domestic manufacturers in multiple industries, including petrochemicals, fertilizers, glass, aluminum and steel, are planning to invest in production facilities in the United States. Over 100 new projects have been announced so far, representing approximately $95 billion in new investments.
Dow alone is investing about $4 billion in new U.S. facilities that will create thousands of new American manufacturing jobs. The outlook for affordable U.S. natural gas was a significant 3 factor behind our decision to invest on this scale in facilities on the U.S. Gulf Coast. To a great extent, continuing optimism for U.S. manufacturing is founded on the prospect of an adequate, reliable and reasonably priced supply of natural gas.
The breadth of manufacturing opportunity offered by our natural gas advantage is unparalleled. While exports have the potential to provide some immediate economic benefit, manufactured goods can create eight times more value.
We can’t let this once-in-a-generation opportunity pass us by.
In his testimony, Liveris offered a clear path forward that encourages smart trade and productive use of natural gas at home. So long as we put fair and clear rules in place, and stick to them, we don’t need to choose between the immediate benefit of exports and the long-term gains of domestic manufacturing.
Unchecked LNG export licensing can cause demand shocks, and the resulting price volatility can have substantial adverse impacts on U.S. manufacturing and competitiveness. In the recent past the price of natural gas was very high and volatile until the advent of substantial shale gas production. Gas supplies and demand are inherently difficult to predict accurately. Thus, Dow urges a cautious, considered, comprehensive and deliberate approach to assessing the public interest.
Forward-thinking policy is essential for maintaining this momentum. We are in year four or five of a 100 year energy advantage, and a thoughtful, prudent approach to policymaking can ensure that we can leverage the competitive advantage to the benefit of all Americans.
If you agree that we need a balanced approach to natural gas that helps our economy stand with America’s Energy Advantage.