LSU Professor Speaks to Southern Governors on Energy-Leveraged Economic Development
BATON ROUGE – Most of the economic opportunities arising in energy-based manufacturing will be concentrated in few areas of the country, with the South being one of those preferred regions. In a presentation at the annual Southern Governor’s Association conference in Little Rock Saturday, David E. Dismukes, executive director of LSU’s Center for Energy Studies and professor in the School of the Coast and Environment, explained that energy-based manufacturing differs from traditional manufacturing in that it tends to pay considerably higher wages and uses energy in a variety of sophisticated ways, the most important of which is as a feedstock for other products, fuels, and energy resources.
“Abundant natural gas supplies have led to the development or announcement of more than $65 billion in new capital expenditures,” Dismukes said. “Demand for the output from these energy manufacturing facilities is not relegated to the U.S. or North American market, but extends world-wide, particularly to the growing economies of Asia, some of which are experiencing growth rates for the commodities and products produced at these facilities at levels double to triple those in the U.S.”
Dismukes cautioned, however, that securing in-state investment in new energy-based manufacturing will become increasingly more competitive, even for states like Louisiana and Texas that have, to date, held a competitive advantage in new project announcements.
“Developers are increasingly exploring other locational opportunities,” he said. “The key to new energy manufacturing investment often rests with any individual state’s business climate, the stability of its regulatory environment, and its willingness to facilitate the development of transmission and distribution assets needed to move new energy supplies to locations that could support energy manufacturing.”
Dismukes’ presentation is available online at http://www.enrg.lsu.edu/node/512.