The View from Houston: The U.S. Energy Industry Will Lead the U.S. Into a New Era of Prosperity
It's good to be in Houston, where a dynamic energy industry is successfully navigating these headwinds and actually tacking ahead to a future where fairer winds may prevail. The latest example is Exxon Mobil's decision to expand its petrochemical complex in Baytown, creating 10,000 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs at the plant. This follows similar recent decisions by Chevron Phillips and Dow Chemical to expand at Old Ocean and Freeport in Brazoria County and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.
The common denominator driving these projects is the abundance of natural gas from shale rock that has dramatically changed the nation's energy picture over the past several years. The availability of cheap natural gas has also made possible the export of liquefied natural gas from domestic gas reserves.
These decisions to push ahead not only reflect positive changes in the natural gas sector, but the kind of boldness and calculated risk-taking for which the oil patch has long been known. As Houstonians, we applaud these choices, not only for the benefits they bring to the regional economy, but for the larger benefit they will bring to a recovering national economy.
It seems clear to us that the energy industry is positioning itself to lead the United States out of economic quagmire and into a new era of prosperity built on the wise use of abundant domestic fuel resources. The industry deserves support for this bold approach, not the political pillorying it regularly receives."