U.S. oil and gas renaissance produces international envy

The growth of the U.S. oil and gas industry has played a key role in reviving the country’s manufacturing sector.

In a recent article, the British publication the Telegraph highlighted the extent to which manufacturing has rebounded in the United States since the end of the so-called Great Recession.

Nationwide, the number of manufacturing jobs has risen more than 4 percent since 2010, according to a report from Charles Schwab. Furthermore, the sector's proportional contribution to U.S. GDP has increased for three years in a row, a feat last achieved during World War II.

In states where manufacturing businesses have a well-established history, the gains have been dramatic. For example, Michigan saw an increase in manufacturing employment of almost 20 percent from January 2010 to April 2013.

The Telegraph's Allister Heath noted that the availability of a steady supply of cheap, domestically produced oil and natural gas has been one of the "key drivers" of this manufacturing revival. And of course, these critical energy resources have been unlocked as a result of the dramatic breakthroughs in gas and oil production equipment that have enabled wells to tap into previously inaccessible reserves trapped deep underground in shale formations.

A recent report from McKinsey & Company projected that the development of U.S. shale resources will bolster the country's GDP by almost $700 billion per year and generate 1.7 million jobs by 2020.

Heath noted that, in light of the economic success that the shale revolution has engendered in the United States, the need for Britain to reform its energy policies appears increasingly "urgent."