During a tour of U.S. Steel’s tubular operations facility in Lorain, Ohio, earlier this week, Sen. Rob Portman was able to see, first hand, the way energy from shale is helping lift a key part of the manufacturing sector.
Actually, the relationship between energy and steel manufacturing has mutual benefits. Developing energy in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays of Ohio and Pennsylvania requires vast amounts of quality steel for the best well casings. So, U.S. Steel and other materials suppliers essentially are helping generate demand for their own products.
In Lorain, the Chronicle-Telegram reports that U.S. Steel recently commissioned a tubular finishing line, reflecting a $100 million investment. The line makes seamless steel pipe for construction and oil and natural gas exploration and employs 120 workers. “What’s happening here is we’re producing a product that’s going to be used to create more energy here in America,” Portman said.
The chief obstacle to sustained success? Over-regulation. Portman said Ohio has a good regulatory regime in place for oil and natural gas development, but he’s concerned there might be attempts to add on a layer of unnecessary federal regulation:
“Let’s not do what the EPA has done in regard to other areas, including refineries around the country, and over-regulate, which makes America a place where you can’t compete, and which drives jobs offshore. … A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work.”
Agreed. The economic benefits of shale energy are being realized in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Texas and other states. Jobs are being created and long-suffering industries like steel are seeing new life. Here’s a new television commercial that captures the essence of what’s happening:
For more information, visit Energy From Shale.