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We have much to be grateful for

This Thanksgiving week Lynnda and I are at the Outer Banks in North Carolina with our family. Coming here is always a reminder of what is important and what we need to be thankful for. After a year and a half of COVID it is a blessing to be together with family in person since everyone lives out of state. We share a three-story house. Two years ago, I was in a wheelchair and had to slide from the wheelchair to the stairs and push myself up one step at a time on my butt. By the time I got to the third floor I was worn out. One trip up and down a day was all I did. This year I’m up and down the steps almost hourly. If I need to make an extra trip to the basement for Lynnda, I don’t mind. I’m grateful for the blessing to be able to go up and down steps like I always did. It is easy to take something as simple as going up stairs for granted.

My daughter’s in-laws are part of the family who come Thanksgiving week. They are good people. Her father-in-law worked in the chemical industry until his retirement. Her mother-in-law was in real estate. Dannielle’s mother-in-law and I don’t always agree politically. This week she commented, “I’m tired of all of these supply chain issues. It is time we started making things in the U.S.A. again.” We fully agree on that. Based on media Shale Crescent USA did around the country in the last year and a half, we learned most Americans, regardless of politics, feel the same way.

In August our high school soccer team ordered warm ups for the players, coaches shirts, and other items during the first week of practice so we could have them in time for our first game. Two months later just in time for playoffs most but not all of the order arrived. All of the stuff we ordered was from an American company. We found out it was all made in China. I’m still waiting for the hat I ordered. I just got an email telling me, “It won’t be long.” Supposedly it was shipped but didn’t say from where. If my hat is on a ship only God knows when it will arrive. We can be thankful because as Americans we can change this.

Every one of the items we ordered can and should be made here in the U.S. We have the energy, raw materials, technology, labor and market to sell into. Like Dannielle’s mother in law, Americans believe this is possible and want it to happen. They understand “made in America” is good for them, their family and our country. We can solve many of our current supply chain issues. Seems only American industry and government don’t understand.

I am thankful for American energy especially fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal we can depend on 24/7/365. Currently they have no economic, dependable replacement. In the summer when it is hot, I love air conditioning. In the winter when it is 10 degrees and the wind is blowing snow, I like heat provided by natural gas or coal fired electricity not dependent on weather or me chopping wood. I’m thankful for farmers who raise our food and grocery stores with freezers and coolers who sell it. Stores depend on energy. I’m thankful for the truck drivers who deliver it. If my family was dependent on my hunting or fishing abilities to eat, we would starve.

I’m thankful for my car, cell phone, computer and the medical equipment that keeps us healthy and saves our lives when we are sick or injured. I’m thankful for American natural gas and oil that provides the feedstock for these and thousands of other products we use every day and are essential to our survival and comfort. The U.S. can extract natural gas and oil with a much lower environmental impact than any country on earth. Are those wanting to ban American plastics manufacturing or U.S. natural gas and oil really concerned about the environment? Americans won’t quit buying essential products. Electric cars, solar panels and other products will be manufactured from foreign oil and imported at an extremely high environmental cost.

A new study soon to be released by Shale Crescent USA shows the manufacturing cost advantage China once had over the U.S. no longer exists except in the minds of people. When American companies fully understand the advantage they now have, we hope they will change their thinking and take advantage of it.

Most Americans understand buying American not only creates jobs but makes the products they use every day. They know Made in America and Sold in America, avoids ocean shipping and other supply chain issues. Most Americans may not have thought about how lower shipping cost can mean lower product costs.

Regional supply chains lower global emissions by eliminating thousands of miles of dirty transportation for imported products. A product manufactured in the Shale Crescent USA with energy and feedstock from our region and sold to consumers in our region might have 500 to 1,000 miles of transportation. A similar product made in China using Middle East oil for feedstock, Chinese or imported coal for electricity, shipped on a bunker fuel burning ocean vessel to the U.S. and then a truck to our region will have over 20,000 miles of transportation. American natural gas and oil is a major competitive advantage the U.S. has over China and most of the world. All Americans, especially those in government need to understand this. We can be thankful for freedom to use common sense to create a positive future for ourselves and our country.

Don’t focus on what your lack. Focus on the many blessings you already have and be thankful! You are loved. Smile! Share your love and gifts with others. Be happy. Be grateful.

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Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering with over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.

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