The Fertilizer Institute has released a report it hopes will influence the U.S. Senate as it considers climate change legislation. "We urge the Senate to review this report with an eye toward potential valuable job losses among the domestic fertilizer industry that could take place if, as we anticipate, climate change legislation leads to higher energy prices," TFI President Ford West said.
The study, conducted by Charles River Associates International, reveals that the U.S. fertilizer industry supports 244,000 and adds $57.8 billion in value to the U.S. economy. The study also found that, in 2006, the fertilizer industry directly employed more than 24,800 people who produced fertilizers valued at $15.1 billion dollars. These jobs had an average annual compensation of $76,000, which was almost 80% higher than the U.S. average compensation across all industries.
Fertilizer manufacturing is a trade and energy intensive industry and is uniquely sensitive to the price of natural gas, which is required to make nitrogen. The industry uses natural gas as a feedstock in a fixed chemical process that combines nitrogen from the air and hydrogen from the gas to produce nitrogen fertilizer, in a form that the plant can take up.