Natural gas in Pennsylvania is attractive to manufactures and encourages manufacturing plants to reopen in places just outside of Charleston, West Virginia. Outside of Charleston and near the Kanawha River, sits the Institute Industrial Park. The Institute Industrial Park is home to a number of US chemical plants, some date all the way back to WWII. Many of the plants have closed over the years due to rising gas and oil prices. The barrier to enter for most manufacturers is cost. The manufacturing industry depends on efficiency and low cost. The cheaper cost abroad made it hard for manufacturers in the US to compete, however, with the surplus of natural gas, the barrier to entry drops.
Locals worry about manufacturing plants being too close to home. Environmentalist worry that manufacturing in the US is going to hurt the environment and procrastinate sustainable energy initiatives.
Manufacturing in the US has always been based around community. Think about all the industrial manufacturing plants that closed over the last decade and how the community was affected by it. Think about Detroit and Cincinnati. Manufacturing doesn’t only bring jobs into a community, but indirectly brings thousands of jobs into the US in retail store, grocery stores, etc…
Natural gas is not only better for the environment than traditional gas or diesel; it also aids in the development of sustainable energy sources. No matter what side you’re on, we’re all working together to develop a better economy.