Apr 25, 2014 - 4:00pm

Could the Construction Industry Win from America’s Energy Boom?


Senior Editor, Digital Content

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An oil pipeline under construction outside Goodfield, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.
An oil pipeline under construction outside Goodfield, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the construction industry could be winners from America’s energy boom:

While spending on construction of residential and non-residential buildings still hasn’t returned to 2008 levels, the oil and gas industry grew throughout the crisis and is picking up the pace even more as the economy recovers. [Consulting firm] FMI expects spending on buildings and other structures to grow at 7-8% in the coming years, but for oil and gas construction, the growth rate is predicted to more than double that.

The report expects "more than $330 billion will be spent on oil- and gas-related construction during the next four years, nearly double the amount that has been spent in the past four years."

The report centers on construction companies having enough skilled workers, like welders, to meet rising construction demand. However, my concern involves permitting uncertainty. We’ve seen how the Obama administration has delayed approving the Keystone XL pipeline for over five years. Does this “embarrassing” fiasco scare off companies from taking on future energy infrastructure projects that involve getting permits from the federal government? If so, then the energy boom won’t be as beneficial to a construction industry that’s still recovering from the Great Recession.

Here’s a link to FMI’s report.

UPDATE: Speaking of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Washington Examiner tweeted this fitting political cartoon:

 

Follow Sean Hackbarth on Twitter at @seanhackbarth and the U.S. Chamber at @uschamber.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.