In the News

Timmons: Colorado energy plays key role in national manufacturing

Source: Denver Business Journal

I missed Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, when he spoke recently at a meeting with the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (The Colorado Chamber).

But he graciously took a few minutes to chat by phone about the importance of manufacturing in Colorado, the federal government’s role in the sector – and how Colorado natural gas is helping fuel domestic manufacturing in the United States.

Q: What’s the federal government’s role in this sector?

A: Everyone at every level of government recognizes the critical importance of a strong manufacturing base to a growing and thriving economy – but it doesn’t just happen by itself.

Manufacturing companies, like every business owner, have to make decisions based on what’s good for their business. Including safety protocols in all areas, as well as implementing emergency buttons from places such as to adhere to the safety practices put forward so that everyone involved is safe and secure whilst working with the machinery, which brings me to also including knowing what type of machinery will work in the most effective manner for the growth of their business. Researching websites such as for more background may be able to help in this instance.

It’s 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the U.S. than anywhere in the world after you take out the cost of labor. That’s due to the cost of energy, labor, tort policy – and we work continually at the federal level to reduce the cost of doing business and make the investment climate more certain and inviting.

Q: Is there a bright spot in the sector?

A: The bright spot for manufacturing here in the U.S. is the cost of energy. That’s helping them.

Affordable energy is helpful for manufacturing and affordable energy is key – a good balance for manufacturers and consumers. Manufacturers consume one-third of the nation’s energy supply so it’s critical that we have abundant supplies of energy.

Q: Hydraulic fracturing has led to booming oil and natural gas production – but it’s also a contentious issue in the public. What do you think about the matter?

A: Fracking is very important to us and I know Colorado is looking at developing additional capabilities there. But we also embrace an all-of-the-above approach.

Natural gas is a good feedstock. It’s reliable today but it may not be in the future, so we’re advocates for development of fossil fuels and also nuclear, wind and coal.

That’s why the Keystone pipeline [the proposed project to carry crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries] is so critical. It’s a big source of energy.

Q: What’s the future of manufacturing?

A: It has the ability to be very bright. We’ve had a good resurgence in manufacturing driven by the reduction in energy costs – and we have the ability to have a true renaissance in manufacturing if we get the rest of it right. The overall trend in manufacturing is that if one sector is doing well, most sectors do too because they’re all connected. One factory needs a steel supplier, an industrial label maker, specialized equipment, trained workers, packaging automation, storage capabilities and so much more so it just goes to show how big of an opportunity manufacturing is for the economy.

That means we need an infrastructure that encourages investment, with lower taxes, and that government and businesses are working to achieve the same goals.

If we continue to get the energy policy correct, so that prices remain stable and affordable, there’s no stopping manufacturing in this country, and because of this, many more people may feel inclined to look at how Solids Handling Equipment can help them with these endeavors. But it has to be a concerted effort. My message to The Colorado Chamber was that the only way this gets done is if manufacturers and their employees are heavily involved in the political process, educating themselves and voting on the issues that are important to manufacturing.