New Study Shows Manufacturing Demand for Natural Gas Will Grow

NAM and IHS Economics Release Study on Natural Gas Impacts

Washington, D.C., May 3, 2016 – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Center for Manufacturing Research and IHS Economics released a new comprehensive study that reveals how natural gas has strengthened manufacturing and encouraged U.S. manufacturing growth and employment and highlights the positive impact to communities around the United States. Manufacturers use natural gas for fuel, such as drying, melting, machine drive and space heating, and as a feedstock in refining, chemicals and primary metals sectors. Domestic natural gas has transformed the U.S. economy, made our companies more competitive, created jobs and put money back in the pockets of working Americans.

“Over the next decade our nation’s demand for natural gas is only going to grow and much of that growth is from manufacturing,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “This study unequivocally shows that if our growing demand is not taken seriously by policy makers we will have a serious lack of infrastructure that will jeopardize our growth.

Natural gas is responsible for millions of jobs, tens of thousands in manufacturing alone. This study highlights several specific examples of how manufacturers of all sizes have benefitted from utilizing natural gas. We can’t afford to let misguided policies rob us of this valuable domestic resource.”

Key highlights from the study:

  • Natural gas access contributed to 1.9 million jobs economy-wide in 2015.
  • Shale gas put an extra $1,337 back in the pocket of the average American family.
  • New natural gas transmission lines meant more than 347,000 jobs, with 60,000 in manufacturing.
  • Total natural gas demand is poised to increase by 40 percent over the next decade. Key drivers will be manufacturing and power generation.
  • U.S. supply is expected to increase by 48 percent over the next decade to meet new demand.
  • Because energy innovation is lowering production costs, IHS expects energy-intensive industries such as chemicals, metals, food and refining to outperform the U.S. economy as a whole through 2025.
  • Shale gas production has created new flow patterns that are causing existing pipelines to reverse flow and will necessitate the construction of new pipeline capacity.

To read a summary, stories from manufacturers and the full in-depth study, click here.


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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.