Appalachian Basin

Energy + Manufacturing = JOBS

As northeastern Ohio begins to recover from the recession, it is the energy and manufacturing sectors that are taking the lead. I am proud to be the co-chair of both the House Manufacturing Caucus and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Working Group. I believe we are on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance, but we must continue to make strategic investments and foster innovations through public and private relationships. As I write this, Vallourec Star is today celebrating the opening of their new facility in my District. Ten years ago no one would have thought Youngstown, Ohio, would once again have a new steel producing facility – but we proved them wrong.

We have made great strides the past few years with our large manufacturers creating new jobs and many smaller companies joining the supply chain. The Tech Belt—the economic corridor between Cleveland and Pittsburgh—continues to expand with the opening of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in downtown Youngstown. But we cannot rest until every person who wants a job has the opportunity to find work. The expansion of the oil and gas industry in northeastern Ohio is a chance to provide that employment—and is a promising development that we cannot afford to miss. Our workers can provide the trucking, construction and other support services needed to take advantage of the state’s abundant gas supply. We can ensure that our energy future is stable—and our workers find good paying jobs.

I also believe that our gas abundance not only provides employment and lowers domestic energy costs, but it provides the opportunity to export natural gas to other nation states. The LNG Export Working Group has been focused on addressing the interests and development of domestic LNG exporting. Despite party affiliations, many of my Congressional colleagues have gathered regularly to work toward a common goal: allowing United States LNG manufacturers the free-market capabilities to export and sell their product. Expanding LNG exports makes too much sense to continue to delay. Economically, the potential in U.S. LNG exports can have an enormous effect not only here locally, but in all corners of our country. That is why I feel so strongly that the Department of Energy should process pending waivers. I understand the various concerns and fears surrounding expanded exports, however I am confident that Department of Energy (DOE) has the tools to maintain integrity in the natural gas market and protect American consumers.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as part of a series of business meetings held in Germany, and was able to speak with the Chancellor about Germany purchasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. Russia is currently Germany’s largest supplier of natural gas. I believe she is very interested in increasing competition for natural gas and buying it from the US, a strong strategic ally that shares their values. If we play our cards properly, the natural gas boom in our region is an opportunity to both sell this resource abroad and create jobs at home. According to the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, which cites the U.S. International Trade Administration, every $1 billion in exports could result in more than 5,000 new jobs, many of which would be permanent manufacturing jobs. Therefore, $13 billion to $25 billion worth of LNG exports – the current range of investment possibilities – could mean the creation of between 70,000 and 140,000 new American jobs. We need to do this.

As co-Chair of the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus, my colleagues and I will work to strengthen American manufacturing and domestic energy production, and assist US employers in putting Americans back to work. Manufacturing and energy are the foundations of our economy, and it is essential we do all we can to strengthen and protect these vital American industries.

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