January 27, 2017

Ohio Chemistry Technology Council: “America’s industries need energy infrastructure”

Access to natural gas is critical for a range of industries – and chief among those is the chemical industry, which provides the feedstocks for a range of products – from modern medicines to household products. The Rover Pipeline will play an important role in providing that access, transporting domestically-produced natural gas to regional markets safely and efficiently. Jenn Klein, president of the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, underscored this fact in a recent Steubenville Herald Star opinion editorial. As she illustrates, Ohio’s chemistry industry is a “leader in the global market” and natural gas infrastructure supports that prominence:

Many people may be surprised to learn that chemical industries provide a critical foundation for the U.S. economy as a large contributor to our nation’s robust manufacturing sector. By converting raw materials such as natural gas, oil, metals, minerals, air and water, the chemical industry produces thousands of various products used in our daily lives as well as crucial materials for numerous industries and businesses in the U.S. economy. But without our nation’s energy infrastructure, this industry and the sectors it supports cannot assume their place as leaders in the global market.

Without chemistry and its products, luxuries like clean water, an advanced health care system, modern medicine and household products would not exist. And with access to energy supplies, the cost to create and maintain these essential daily functions is controlled. Unfortunately, domestic demand is rapidly increasing for cheaper energy and infrastructure hasn’t been able to keep up. For example, the Midwest currently suffers from a lack of midstream infrastructure projects, forcing industries to relinquish the benefits that are a result of energy development.

Ms. Klein goes on to illustrate the economic impacts of both infrastructure development and the chemistry industry:

Lower production cost is not the only positive outcome from energy development. Construction of pipelines brings a wealth of benefits to the regional and national economy. It specifically encourages growth in support industries as more raw materials become available for industries to utilize. Domestically produced natural gas has already begun to revitalize the U.S. economy, catalyzing competitive advantages for American businesses in the form of additional cost savings.

Communities will also sustain long-term economic growth as energy development strengthens the economy through employment opportunities and tax immersions. Chemistry companies in Ohio already employ 43,650 people and indirectly contribute 59,170 related jobs to the state’s economy. Not to mention, these jobs generate $3.5 billion in earnings and generate more than $1.3 billion in local, state and federal taxes.

Further, she cites the Rover Pipeline as a prominent example of proposed natural gas pipelines in the Midwest:

Furthermore, construction alone will inject paychecks and taxes back into communities to use on much-needed projects such as school and hospital construction, road repairs and other daily improvements. The Rover Pipeline, which is currently being constructed in the Midwest, will inject $135 million in Ohio alone in taxes, investing back into a community that will also be benefiting from access to reliable, cheap energy.

As she concludes:

Chemistries use energy supplied by infrastructure to play a vital role in the manufacturing sector, working with raw materials to make the lives of Americans healthier and more productive. Given the crucial role that our energy infrastructure plays in carrying energy to market and ensuring that U.S. businesses and industries thrive, it is critical that Americans recognize the need for major investments in new infrastructure.

CEPI applauds Ms. Klein for illustrating the many benefits of pipeline infrastructure. We encourage FERC to take these many impacts to heart and approve the Rover Pipeline.