One of the biggest shifts going on right now is the U.S. oil and gas boom.
Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. Natural gas production is also booming and prices are falling. A recent Bloomberg article suggests the U.S. will be the world's largest energy producer by 2020. It also forecasts we will energy independent by then.
The chart below, from a recent Wall Street Journal article on the growing natural gas glut, illustrated how quickly the U.S. energy scene is shifting.
"The transformation, which could see the country become the world’s top energy producer by 2020, has implications for the economy and national security -- boosting household incomes, jobs and government revenue; cutting the trade deficit; enhancing manufacturers’ competitiveness; and allowing greater flexibility in dealing with unrest in the Middle East."
Echoing Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal's Oil and Gas Boom Lifts U.S. Economy chronicles many of the ways the energy boom is making America more competitive.
One of the key impacts described in the article is how cheaper energy is making U.S. manufacturing much more competitive. Key quote:
"We think lower natural gas prices are creating a structural economic advantage for the U.S.," says Chat Reynders, chairman and chief executive of Boston-based Reynders McVeigh Capital Management. "It's a new competitive strength for U.S. manufacturers." He points out that people who purchase energy supplies for companies in Asia pay up to six times as much for natural gas as their counterparts in Texas and Louisiana.
No matter what business you're in or where you're located, the U.S. energy boom is likely going to impact you. Our advice to small businesses is to think through the potential impacts this powerful trend will have on them.