Skip to comments.European industry flocks to U.S. to take advantage of cheaper gas
Posted on 04/02/2013 12:57:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany The sprawling chemical plant in this city along the Rhine River has been a jewel of Germanys manufacturing-led economy for more than a century. But the plunging price of natural gas in the United States has European companies setting sail across the Atlantic to stay competitive.
German chemicals giant BASF, which operates the plant here, has announced plans for wide-ranging expansion in the United States, where natural gas prices have fallen to a quarter of those in Europe, largely because of American innovations in unlocking shale gas.
Among those most affected are energy-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals, because they use natural gas as a raw material and power source. With Europe lagging in energy production, manufacturers on the continent warn that a chain reaction could shift more and more investment to U.S. shores.
Its become clear, with the drop in gas and electricity prices in the United States, that we are, at the moment, at a significant disadvantage with our competitors, said Gordon Moffat, director general of Eurofer, the main lobbying group for European steel manufacturers.
As new dollars pour into the United States, the outflow from Europe is costing jobs and weighing on decisions about ambitious and expensive green-friendly policies that critics say are contributing to the energy-price gap.
Here in Ludwigshafen, many people view the United States as the land of the future....
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
This is why it is absolutely critical to keep taxes and energy prices low. Jobs and production will come here.
Cheap energy will produce wealth. We have 7 TRILLION barrels of oil in the ground in North America. By comparison, Saudi Arabia has 250 million barrels. We have 28 times that much.
Build Keystone and drill, drill, drill.
Impossible! At least according to the protectionists (and there are some here on FR) who claim in order to bring these types of jobs to the US that we need massive tariffs and an end to free trade agreements.
And if these European industrial jobs flow into right-to-work, pro free market US states so much the better.
Stop introducing facts when there’s a Free Republic temper tantrum going on...
Remember peak oil? The left is full of stupid people with destructive policy positions supported by pseudo science such as global warming, peak oil, and the anti-pesticide movement.
We are blessed with abundance and cursed with stupid people.
I’ve been asking the question: “How long will the rest of the world sit by and allow the US to have this huge advantage in energy costs?”
I think... Not long.
They’re already fracking... (or, trying to !) in China. But, their available gas is mostly in the wrong places, and they don’t have the infrastructure in place to move it to the right places.
They COULD be fracking in Argentina.. and, Brazil. But, their governments are in such sad shape, even the greedy oil companies don’t want to risk investing there.
They COULD be doing it in England, France, and Germany. I doubt the French lefties will ever yield... but, I suspect the other two might. And, I’m almost positive that the Germans will.
We have, I think, a 3-6 year window in which we will hold a HUGE advantage in energy cost... Assuming we ignore the IMF, and Obama doesn’t self-implode us.
Beyond that? We will still maintain ~ $5/MM BTU advantage over any country that relies on imports. But, there will be several other countries tapping their own shale gas.
There is one export facility opening for LNG I in 2015. That is ok, but I would prefer to keep the gas here and have them move factories here. Using gas to create higher value chemicals creates more value than just exporting gas.
The US is desperately trying to create jobs and attract business, while the Democrat Party is steadfastly tilting at windmills.
The tremendous abundance of so called "fossil fuels" in North America has not seeped into the public consciousness yet. No region, including the middle east, has the kind of energy resources that are right here beneath our feet. Industry will move here to take advantage of cheaper energy, we will export LNG, and there will still be a huge supply available.
Australia has several enormous LNG exporting plants coming online in the next 10 years.
Massive nat gas reserves and conversions of power to nat gas are helping create a manufacturing renaissance here in the US.