Pro-Growth Policies Will Ensure Benefits of Shale Gas Boom Continue to Spread

January 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The shale gas revolution is transforming America’s energy landscape and economy. We have seen dramatic growth in domestic natural gas production over the past decade, and according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, production is expected to expand from 23.0 trillion cubic feet in 2011 to 33.1 trillion cubic feet in 2040, a 44 percent increase. This increase can almost exclusively be attributed to the continued use of advanced extraction techniques that have helped create our domestic energy boom.

The shale gas boom is driving job creation and investment in the energy sector and is also helping to revive other struggling sectors of our economy like manufacturing. For example, the U.S. steel industry has seen a swell of investment into new plants due in large part to America’s newfound abundance of affordable natural gas. Bloomberg News recently reported:

“The U.S. shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry. Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG (VOE) said Dec. 19 it may construct a 500 million-euro ($661 million) factory in the U.S. to benefit from cheap gas. Nucor Corp. (NUE), the most valuable U.S. steelmaker, plans to start up a $750 million Louisiana project in mid-2013. They’re among at least five U.S. plants under consideration or being built that would use gas instead of coal to purify iron ore, the main ingredient in steel."

Bloomberg News also highlighted that U.S. chemical producers are experiencing growth:

“There’s also been a reversal of fortune for U.S. chemical producers after years of decline. Shares of LyondellBasell Industries NV have more than doubled since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. The company is now among chemical producers planning billions of dollars of plants around the Gulf of Mexico to capitalize on cheaper gas.”

Continued growth in domestic shale gas production is a major factor in job creation and America’s economic recovery. In the state of Ohio alone, the shale gas boom supported nearly 39,000 jobs in 2012 and one study forecasts the creation of 266,000 additional jobs by 2035. House Republicans will continue to support pro-growth policies in the 113th Congress to ensure this important industry continues to thrive as part of our “all-of-the-above” approach to achieve North American energy independence.