Cheap natural gas helps grow manufacturing, mayors say

The recent natural gas boom in the United States has helped grow manufacturing in major cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said.

Cheap natural gas has specifically helped nine energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, including fabricated metals, plastics and machinery, the group said. The conclusion is based on employment and sales figures from those industries from 2010 to 2012.

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“We believe the energy revolution is helping the U.S. regain its footing in the manufacturing sector,” Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Mich., said in a Thursday statement.

Bernero led the group’s task force that oversaw the research effort.

“Most of these manufacturing jobs will occur in our cities and their metropolitan regions, which we know are the drivers of the national economy,” he said.

The report, commissioned by the mayors group but prepared by HIS Global Insight, predicts that those manufacturing sectors will grow through 2020 nationally.