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No problem is too big for America to handle

Three major events happened this week. We got to spend time with our youngest son and his family at Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We shared a condo and got to hug all four grandchildren including our son and daughter-in-law.

Thanks to the pandemic we appreciate hugs even more now. Since we were all vaccinated we didn’t need a mask all week. Politics aside, here is a thought to ponder. I had to show my driver’s license to be able to buy a beer at a dinner show this week. There are people who believe we shouldn’t need to show an ID to vote. Hmmm.

All but a handful of West Virginia counties are green this week. This without extended lockdowns. My friend in New York City is now traveling for business. Fighting the pandemic has taken people working together at all levels to get it under control including individual Americans. We have had and still have disagreements. We also learned a lot. One of the things Americans do well is come together in a crisis. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that way. Politics or people and groups with their own agenda can slow things down but ultimately, we the people using common sense prevailed.

We also had a big business event this week. Shale Crescent USA was on Plastic News Ask the Expert live stream on Wednesday. The program focused on sustainability and green or clean manufacturing.

Green manufacturing has been defined as the renewal of production processes and the establishment of environmentally friendly operations in manufacturing. Workers use fewer natural resources, reduce pollution and waste, recycle and reuse materials and moderate emissions in their processes. Manufacturers develop or utilize new technologies and practices to lessen the impact on the environment. In addition to all of this, manufacturers still must be profitable. Shale Crescent USA’s research shows U.S. manufacturers can be green/clean, more profitable AND go head to head with China and WIN!

Our imports from China have been constantly increasing since 1985 as per U.S. government statistics. We are importing $500 billion per year in products from China. These products are made with coal-generated electricity that is dirtier than U.S. coal-fired power plants. The feedstock for the plastic and petrochemical based products comes from OPEC Middle East oil that is shipped to China on an oil tanker burning bunker fuel that has to travel 7,000-plus miles. The finished products are shipped 12,000 miles to the USA on a container ship that burns dirty bunker fuel. They are then railed and trucked another 2,000-plus miles to our region. This is over 21,000 miles of transportation. This is not green/clean manufacturing for Asian companies making the products and for U.S. companies selling them or using them as part of their supply chain. Products made in the USA with U.S. energy and feedstock and consumed in the USA have an average of 500 miles of transportation using much cleaner fuels than bunker fuel.

In the last 15 years Chinese emissions have gone from 5.8 gigatons in 2005 to 11.5 gigatons in 2020. During the same period U.S. emissions fell from 6.1 gigatons to 5.1 gigatons in 2020. The USA added 1.4 million new manufacturing jobs since 2010 and still reduced emissions. We are choosing to buy $500 billion in products from China every year because we think they are cheaper. We allowed our high wage jobs to be exported. We know China’s emissions are continuing to increase. We voted with our wallets to allow this to happen. We also have the power to stop it.

U.S. manufacturers are close to their consumers. They have an energy and feedstock advantage. They have advanced manufacturing processes that reduce labor costs making them more competitive. They now have environmental advantages especially if they are using other regional or North American companies as suppliers. If we are serious about climate change and cleaning up the planet shouldn’t we not only support but demand U.S. manufacturing. American companies and entrepreneurs are developing some incredible new technologies and processes to manufacture cleaner and more efficiently especially in the area of recycling and reuse.

I will share these technologies with you as permitted. Americans beat the pandemic and the energy crisis. Working together we can create a cleaner world and a vibrant economy with good jobs. Never underestimate American ingenuity. Anything is possible.

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering with over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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