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Where The Frack Is That “Manufacturing Renaissance”?

 No Benefits To NJ From Fracking & Pipelines

Policy Makers Duped By Energy & Chemical Industry

Pipe Dreams – Part 2

(Source: NJ Dept. of Labor)

(Source: NJ Dept. of Labor)

Look at that gray line going down – The data above show a remarkable decline in NJ’s chemical industry production and employment. The largest single component of NJ’s manufacturing sector is the chemical industry.

In my prior post, I emphasized the key fact that NJ’s manufacturing sector was in steep decline, particularly during the last 5 years of the Christie Administration, declining by an average of 5.1% per year.

The chemical industry decline comes at the same time of Gov. Christie’s pro-business “regulatory relief” and “voluntary partnership” enforcement policy, so industry lobbyists can not trot out the standard Big Lie that environmental regulation caused the declines.

That period of steep decline also corresponds with the rise and tremendous growth of the natural gas fracking industry, which has produced a glut of gas in the region.

Because the chemical industry uses natural gas as a production input, we were assured – loudly and repeatedly – by the energy and chemical industry lobbyists that the growth of fracking and declines in the price of natural gas would spur a “renaissance” in chemical manufacturing, fueling huge new growth.

Hal Bozarth. Chemistry Council lobbyist

Hal Bozarth. Chemistry Council lobbyist

That spin was presented in an Aug. 25, 2011 CCNJ Press release praising Gov. Christie’s veto of legislation to ban fracking in NJ:

“Governor Christie recognizes that New Jersey benefits enormously from natural gas production,” said Hal Bozarth, executive director of CCNJ. “Adequate, affordable natural gas supplies help sustain thousands of high-paying chemistry industry jobs.  Natural gas is also important to more affordable electricity for New Jersey’s manufacturers, small businesses, and citizens.

“U.S. shale gas production is spurring a manufacturing renaissance in the country, and New Jersey can potentially benefit through economic development and job growth in the state,” Bozarth continued.

The actual data on NJ’s chemical industry’s production and employment during the boom in fracking totally contradicts those exaggerated industry claims.

So, where is the “manufacturing renaissance” Hal? LOOK AT THE ACTUAL DATA!

(Source: NJ Dept. of Labor)

(Source: NJ Dept. of Labor)

NJ receives just a handful of temporary construction jobs and few economic benefits from all the fracking pipelines the energy industry wants to build.

The costs far exceed any benefits.

NJ could even wind up even exporting gas to lucrative foreign markets. A point we take up in part 3.

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