The energy boom in new oil and natural gas flowing through U.S. pipelines is beginning to ripple through the wider American economy.

In September, Smith traded temp agency jobs for full-time employment with Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products, which makes wire baskets for industrial customers. An experienced machinist, Smith is now expanding his skills by learning to set up and operate factory robots.

“Knowing each and every machine in here gives me an opportunity to make good money, and to educate myself more,” he said. “This is my career.”

Smith’s hiring was just one of thousands of openings created indirectly by a new boom in domestic oil and natural gas drilling – a bounty so rich that it has even caught energy industry insiders by surprise. In part 2 of our four-part “Power Shift” special report, we examine how the explosion in drilling in places like North Dakota and West Texas is spreading through the general economy – despite controversy over the potential environmental impact of the new industry practices.

Companies in the steel rustbelt of Pennsylvania and Ohio are polishing up aging plants to replace coal with cheaper natural gas. Others are setting up shop closer to major gas distribution hubs like Louisiana, where steel giant Nucor is investing $750 million to fire up a new plant later this year.

Mactech’s take:
It’s great to see the energy boom touching all sorts of players in all sorts of industries such as construction companies, engineering firms, equipment suppliers and lenders who help finance the projects, according to the article. The United States has a great asset sitting right beneath our feet and it is a welcome sign to see it being utilized by a plethora of different industries.

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