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Earlier this week, I talked about how growing production of shale natural gas is spurring a “renaissance” in U.S. manufacturing. Yesterday, that “renaissance” was the talk of the White House. There, President Obama held a forum recognizing the influx in U.S. manufacturing jobs and investment and released a report detailing the reasons behind this positive trend.

Amid all the concern expressed about a decline in the United States’ manufacturing base in recent years, a positive turn of events is helping drive a comeback in this critical sector of the American economy: shale natural gas. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Shale Gas: A renaissance in US manufacturing?”, sums up two main reasons why exponential growth in U.S. shale gas production is giving a much-needed boost to U.S. manufacturers.

$76 billion share of U.S. GDP. $33 billion in capital investments made. $18.6 billion in federal, state and local government tax and federal royalty revenues. 600,000 jobs supported. And that was just in 2010. These impressive stats sum up the economic contributions of U.S. shale gas production in 2010, according to a recent study from IHS Global Insight. But even better outcomes are yet to come, the study’s findings show.

Here’s a New Year’s resolution worth making: Let’s not mandate the impossible. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency did just that last week, setting new quotas for 2012 that will require the nation’s refiners to add 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol to America’s fuel supplies. The only catch: America doesn’t have the cellulosic ethanol to meet that standard.

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