WRI: U.S. Energy Intensity by Industry

American manufacturers fear that the imbalances created by aggressive climate policy in the United States could contribute significantly to the “offshore-ing” of jobs and relocation of industry to countries with lower standards and production costs.

For most U.S. industries, these fears are overstated and limited to industries where energy and fossil fuels are a large portion of their cost structures and where those industries participate in global markets. In industries such as transportation equipment and electronics manufacturing, energy accounts for less than one percent of total production costs. In fact, industries are more likely to be impacted by fluctuations in currency exchange rates or national differences in tax and transportation costs. Carbon regulation compliance costs are likely to be insignificant to global competitiveness of these industries.

From Seligsohn, Heilmayr, Tan, and Weischer (2009) “China, the United States and the Climate Change Challenge.” WRI Policy Brief, available at: http://www.wri.org/publication/china-united-states-climate-change-challenge