There hasn’t been all that much good news to come out of the past three years of economic “recovery,” save this: the energy revolution has led to an explosion in “brown” jobs that is driving job growth in a number of states.
The gains are particularly notable in the Rust Belt states of the Midwest, which had fallen on hard times even before the recession. In a profile of changes in commerce along the Ohio River, the New York Times digs deeper into the ways shale gas and brown energy are sparking follow-on revivals in steel production and industrial freight :
The iron castings are evidence of a seminal economic transition that is unfolding in the six-state Ohio River Valley, a region that once encompassed much of what used to be called the Rust Belt. “The coal trade is way down,” said Mr. McKinney, 54, who has spent more than 30 years moving bulk cargo on the Ohio River. “But we’re doing a lot more commercial cargo now. We’re seeing more steel, more rock, more concrete. Somebody’s making money.”
Business at the iron and steel foundries in Kentucky and Ohio is soaring. Automakers are ordering more steel. Steel pipe and steel construction equipment are needed to tap the deep natural gas-saturated shales of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Given the importance of these states in the presidential election, embracing green hostility to brown energy is looking like even more of a loser for the Democrats.