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At the conclusion of the president’s month-long focus on American jobs, June 26-30, 2017, was deemed Energy Week by the Trump administration.

  • Monday - President Donald Trump met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed long-term agreements to send natural gas to India.
  • Wednesday - President Trump hosted government and tribal leaders to discuss energy at the state and local government level including resource development on public lands.
  • Thursday - President Trump hosted the “American Energy Dominance Panel” at the Department of Energy Headquarters to give a speech on placing an increased focus on opportunities for creating jobs through energy exports while providing energy security at home, which he has coined, “Energy Dominance.” Energy Secretary Rick Perry explained energy dominance to the White House Press corps saying, “An energy dominant America will export to markets around the world, increasing our global leadership and our influence.” This could include addressing the necessity to electrify third world countries.

President Trump will travel to Poland next week on his way to a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. This is important to note because on June 8, Poland received its first shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is a sign of an emerging market, one of which President Trump plans to take full advantage of. Exports of LNG to Europe and Asia will help to assert the United States as a global leader in energy production. President Trump plans to promote U.S. natural gas exports to leaders from Central and Eastern Europe as a way to take a step in front of Russian suppliers. Interestingly, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States will be a net energy exporter for much of 2017.

Natural gas has a played a tremendous role in the promotion of the United States economy as a whole, as well as at the state level. Ohio is a strong leader in natural gas production and a new study released by the American Petroleum Institute on June 27 focuses on the benefits natural gas brings to Ohio in the form of consumer savings, jobs, and economic growth. “The continued development and increased use of our state’s natural gas resources is essential in providing countless benefits and a better way of life for all Ohioans,” said Executive Director Chris Zeigler. Specifically, natural gas benefitted Ohio in 2015 by supporting 188,500 jobs in the state – 3.6 percent of the labor market – and contributed $26.7 billion to the state’s economy. In addition, this study concluded that by 2040 natural gas will support an additional 2 million jobs in the United States, raising the number from 4 million to 6 million.

Impact of Shale Investment and Development

I recently published an article (Appalachia Rising), which provides further insight into the $50 billion that have been invested in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors in Ohio over the past five years alone. In this article, I mentioned on a study released by JOBS OH, which sheds light on the positive impact the shale industry is having on the economy of Appalachia. This benefit doesn’t have to stop in Southeast Ohio and West Virginia, as noted by a recent Wall Street Journal Article. 

Investment in the downstream sector of the natural gas market has risen exponentially due to the boom in drilling which has expanded output. The downstream sector includes consumer-end uses. One article from the Dow Jones Newswire reports on the global impact this increase in investment is having. Specifically, this article focuses on the downstream sector and plastics. Petrochemicals were once a cheap byproduct, but today they are a major factor power U.S. manufacturing and exporting due to countries such as Brazil where tiny pellets of plastic are reshaped into plastic pouches to be made into baby food containers and pouches. A once unforeseen market has seen tremendous secondary benefit from the shale boom in the United States. This increase will benefit the United States economy and continue to establish the United States as a major exporter of plastic. According to this article, the increase will add $294 billion to U.S. economic output and 462,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2025.

The abundance of natural gas has sparked tremendous growth in construction and manufacturing. Specifically, at the beginning of 2017, ten different natural gas power plants were in development in Ohio, leading to some of the lowest gas prices in the nation. As a result, there has been a boost in hiring in fracking and chemical manufacturing, specifically in Youngstown, Ohio. Fracking and energy development along with chemical manufacturing are serving as the driving force behind cities like Youngstown to get back on the map.

Justin Abbarno, a legal intern at McDonald Hopkins, assisted with the research and writing of this blog post.
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