Senator Stabenow Takes to Senate Floor to Praise Resurgence of American Manufacturing

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow took to the Senate floor to discuss liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, the crisis in Ukraine, and the domestic manufacturing renaissance being fueled by American natural gas.

Below are excerpts of her remarks as prepared for delivery:

A renaissance in the kind of good-paying, American manufacturing jobs that built our middle class is being powered in a significant way by American natural gas. More than $100 billion in investment - in more than 120 different manufacturing projects - is being fueled by abundant, affordable American natural gas.

I am really confused about why some people are rushing to send this American resource overseas without a careful review of the impact that will have on the cost to our manufacturers and our families.

I am not opposed to exporting some of our natural gas as part of a balanced, well-thought-out plan. But a rush to approve every export facility request immediately is not wise for our economy and our people when we know increased natural gas is needed right here at home to create jobs and grow our own economy. [...]

I am particularly dismayed that some people are using the very serious crisis in Ukraine as an excuse to rush through new projects to export our American natural gas.

Just last week, I met with members of the Ukrainian community in Detroit. This is personal for them, their friends, and their families. This crisis should not be used by those in the oil and gas industry to rush through actions that may be good for them in the long run but not good for American manufacturers and middle-class families. [...]

As we all know, where that gas goes will be decided by the market. Prices are high in Asia right now. We don't have the existing infrastructure to get it to Ukraine. The gas from any export facilities that are rushed through is likely to go to the Asian market.

Should American natural gas be used to create jobs in China or here in America? I would hope we could all agree on the answer to that question.

So rushing through more natural gas export facilities unfortunately would not help Ukraine. It could, however, have negative effects on our own economy. [...]

The people of Ukraine and our allies need our help, not Big Oil.

Shame on us if we squander the opportunities that low-cost, abundant natural gas resources offer our country. We need to be smart with the resources we have. Our manufacturers, our middle class families, and our economy all depend on us getting this right!