America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Friday praised a White House briefing paper, which on Wednesday credited the U.S. natural gas industry with helping to fuel recent gains in domestic manufacturing.

In its report, “Investing in America,” the White House noted that U.S. manufacturing had improved its cost competitiveness compared to other countries, in part because of domestic natural gas production (see Daily GPI, Jan. 12).

“We applaud the Obama administration for its commitment to domestic natural gas production,” said ANGA CEO Regina Hopper. “The White House briefing paper correctly notes the significant economic benefits natural gas production brings to our country.

“And it rightly points out that the surge in domestic natural gas production lowers energy costs for consumers, cuts pollution in our communities and drives investment and creates jobs not only in the natural gas sector, but across a range of important American industries that are now more competitive thanks to our nation’s vast and affordable supplies of natural gas.”

ANGA represents 30 of North America’s leading independents.

The gas industry is providing a “much needed boost to our economy” by creating jobs in communities and powering downstream industries, said Hopper. She noted that in 2010 “the shale gas industry alone supported more than 600,000 jobs, according to a recent IHS Global Insight report,” a figure expected to grow to 1.6 million by 2035″ (see Daily GPI, Dec. 7, 2011).

The gas industry, said Hopper, “also shares the Obama administration’s desire to ensure that natural gas continues to be produced in a safe and responsible manner. That is a central commitment of our companies. Thanks to the many benefits of responsible natural gas production, our nation does not have to choose between economic growth and environmental stewardship.”

U.S. gas resources “hold vast potential, and our industry looks forward to playing a central role in powering our nation’s economic recovery.”

The ACC noted that the report “identifies the chemical industry as one of the manufacturing sectors benefiting from the natural gas production boom. Just several years ago, said the report, ‘leaders of the domestic organic chemical industry predicted that shortages in natural gas would dramatically raise the domestic price of natural gas, one of their key inputs. Without the prospect for adequate domestic supplies of natural gas at reasonable prices, companies increasingly pointed to overseas operations where they could access large quantities of low cost natural gas.'”

ACC CEO Cal Dooley said the chemistry industry was “glad to see the White House connecting the dots linking stable and plentiful natural gas supplies to U.S. economic prosperity and jobs. We’re now looking to the Obama administration, Congress and state officials to make sure policies and regulations allow us to capitalize on this significant domestic energy source while protecting our environment.”

The report cited several chemistry companies that have announced plans to make major investments in new U.S. facilities over the next several years.

“Access to untapped supplies of natural gas is one of the most important domestic energy developments in 50 years,” said Dooley. “This report is further evidence that natural gas is a game changer — for the chemistry industry, U.S. manufacturers and America.”

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