Report: Plastics Manufacturing Gets a Boost from American Shale

A new report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), released this week, highlights how the abundance of affordable natural gas and natural gas liquids from shale will particularly benefit U.S. plastics manufacturing. According to the report, “The Rising Competitive Advantage of U.S. Plastics,” an additional 461,800 direct and induced jobs will be created over the next decade, while workers in the plastics industry and its supply chain will be paid $19.1 billion.  That’s investment that supports our economies, workforce, and communities.

From the report:

“Shale gas development has reversed the fortunes of the U.S. plastics industry. Because the competitiveness of plastic resins depends on energy costs—in particular, the difference between oil and natural gas prices—the surge of natural gas production from shale has changed the competitive landscape for U.S. plastics.”

Thanks to this renewed competitiveness, the report adds that “nearly $47 billion in investment is expected to be put in place over the next decade.” As ACC Vice President of Plastics Steve Russell stated, while the United States was recently one of the highest-cost plastic producers, “today, America is one of the most attractive places in the world to invest in plastics manufacturing. Even after recent declines in oil prices, our nation has a decisive edge.”

Russell’s comments echo National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons’ February speech at Purdue University in Indiana, where he stated “America has an unprecedented and incredible global advantage in reliable and affordable energy, and it’s driving manufacturing’s renaissance. And shale gas is just one example of an opportunity we shouldn’t miss.”

The story of the plastics industry is one of many examples of the success of the manufacturing industry, thanks to the availability of affordable energy from shale. In fact, previous studies from PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PWC) and the American Shale and Manufacturing Partnership indicate that oil and natural gas production from shale will benefit the national economy for decades to come, providing an annual cost savings of $22.3 billion in 2030 while adding “more than 1 million workers to the U.S. manufacturing industry” by 2025.

Check out EID’s video, “U.S. Shale Brings Manufacturing Back to America,” our infographic on how shale is increasing domestic manufacturing jobs and revenues, and other reports about this manufacturing renaissance fueled by American energy.

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