As part of President Obama's vision for an America built to last, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today visited two manufacturing facilities in Ohio that are helping to power the nation's growing energy economy. The plants, which employ American workers to manufacture products and components used in oil and gas production and to fabricate wind towers, underscore the President's call for an economy driven by American energy, American skills and innovation, and American manufacturing.
"When it comes to energy, we need to take an all-of-the-above approach to producing more energy at home in ways that are cleaner, cheaper and create jobs for Americans," said Secretary Salazar. "That means safely and responsibly developing our abundant natural gas resources, as well as building capacity for clean energy technologies, like wind and solar. Ohio is playing a major role in growing a strong energy economy for America, where jobs from manufacturing to construction are created and supported by our nation's growing energy portfolio."
In the morning, Salazar visited the MAC LTT Liquid Tank Trailer manufacturing facility in Kent, Ohio, where he saw firsthand the tanks and trailers they build used in the exploration of natural gas and oil. The recently-opened facility employs over 100 workers, and anticipates adding another 100 by year's end.
"This MAC LTT facility is adding five to ten highly-skilled jobs per week and is a strong testament to the critical -- and growing -- role that natural gas is playing in our nation's economy," Salazar said. "Natural gas could support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, so we must ensure that this resource continues to be developed safely and responsibly."
In the afternoon, Salazar will visit Lincoln Electric near Cleveland, Ohio. Salazar will tour the company's Automation Division, where they produce arc welding solutions that support the wind industry and other energy sectors across the nation. Lincoln Electric employs over 2,200 workers at their Northeast Ohio operations, which is home to the largest urban-based wind turbine in the nation that provides up to ten percent of electricity for its manufacturing campus.
"With a wind turbine on site that provides up to ten percent of the plant's energy needs, Lincoln Electric is really walking the talk and showing that we can meet our energy needs with a variety of sources -- both conventional and renewable," Salazar said. "As part of our all-of-the-above approach, the President believes we need to double-down on clean energy in the United States."
Salazar also delivered remarks at the historic City Club of Cleveland, where he outlined a rule that Interior is expected to propose in the coming weeks regarding hydraulic fracturing, a technology used to develop natural gas.
The draft rule would contain three common-sense components: public disclosure of the chemicals used during operations with appropriate considerations for trade secret claims; confirmation of wellbore integrity; and water management programs for fluids that flow back to the surface. A proposed rule will be formally released to the public as part of a formal comment period, during which feedback from industry, state, local and tribal governments, individual citizens and all other interested parties will be solicited.
"If we are going to be successful, the public needs to have confidence that fracking operations are being conducted safely, and that drinking water supplies are protected." Salazar added. "A disclosure rule need not be burdensome. It need not be complicated. But it has to preserve the public's trust in an industry that is critical to our long-term energy security."