University of Michigan to host shale gas symposium at National Press Club

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shale gas is changing the American energy economy at a breakneck pace, and its rapid, widespread domestic utilization is redefining the questions our government must address about energy security, policy and the environment. Shale gas as an energy source poses a huge potential boon to American manufacturers of all stripes, but the relationship between the shale gas boom and U.S manufacturing competitiveness needs clearer understanding.

To that end, the University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership and the University of Michigan Energy Institute will host a group of leaders in American government agencies, industry, NGOs and academia. Together, attendees will craft recommendations aimed at increasing American manufacturing competitiveness with the utilization of affordable, U.S.-produced shale gas.  With an emphasis on the chemical industry and energy-intensive manufacturing sectors, the symposium will also include the perspective of recent studies on price, environmental and health impacts, technology and public acceptance.

Shale gas contributed $74 billion to the American economy in 2012, but symposium organizers feel that with timely policy development, its contribution could expand further to help the U.S. cost-effectively produce more of its own chemicals, aluminum, steel, paper and glass.

“Representatives from each of the groups attending this symposium have important pieces of the answers we need as we work to connect American manufacturing with the potential of shale gas. Bringing them together represents an opportunity to create considered and responsible policy solutions,” explained Sridhar Kota, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. From 2009-2012, Kota, the U-M Herrick Professor of Engineering, served as the Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The symposium, to be held on March 28 at 8:00 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., will feature a keynote by Norman Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Representatives from the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, steel, aluminum and paper industries, the American Gas Association, the White House, Department of Energy, and the Environmental Defense Fund will also speak. The symposium will be open to members of the press during the morning session. Click here to view a full symposium agenda.

About the University of Michigan Institute for Manufacturing Leadership

Headquartered at the University of Michigan, the primary mission of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership is to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness through the advancement of policy, education, technology and business innovation. Learn more at

About the University of Michigan Energy Institute

The demand for economically and environmentally sound energy solutions is urgent and global. At the Energy Institute, we build on the University of Michigan’s strong energy research heritage at the heart of the nation’s automotive and manufacturing industries to develop and integrate science, technology and policy solutions to pressing energy challenges. Visit to learn more. 

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