Toby Mack, president and CEO of the Associated Equipment Distributors since 1989, will be leaving AED to form the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance, which Mack described as the voice of the shale energy supply chain. Mack, who announced his coming departure at the recent AED Executive Forum in Rosemont, Ill., said EEIA includes AED, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Rental Association, Associated General Contractors, ARTBA and nine other trade associations, six energy organizations and two labor unions, and will lobby on behalf of the shale energy industry, which will provide massive opportunities for the construction industry.

In a presentation at the Forum, Mack said the sudden and growing abundance of shale energy reserves, including recent discoveries in California, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and other states, along with rapid advances in discovery and mapping technology and new technologies lowering production costs will lead to dramatic benefits for the United States economy. Mack said by 2020, the opportunities can create 3.3 million new jobs, add $125 billion to federal and state tax revenues; $468 billion to U.S. GDP, $258 billion to annual industrial output, and more than $100 billion in new chemical manufacturing capacity.

Mack said U.S. growing oil and gas production will lead to U.S. energy independence, enabling North American sources to meet 100 percent of consumption needs, making the U.S. less vulnerable to geo-political risk, and will lessen the leverage of OPEC, Russia, the Middle East, and African and South American oil producers.

The benefits to the construction industry from shale energy exploration and production, Mack said, are dramatic as more than $100 billion could potentially be spent on refineries, processing plants, and liquefied natural gas export terminals, as well as more than $100 billion in new chemical manufacturing capacity. Mack said already the results have been dramatic as in 2012 alone 12 Texas dealers added $900 million in sales, six dealers in Western Pennsylvania added $400 million in sales, and seven dealers in Colorado and Utah have added $400 million in sales as a result of shale gas plays. The creation of roads, road repair, facilities, pipelines and a wide range of support businesses will create opportunities for construction equipment.

However, Mack pointed out, there is significant public opposition to hydraulic fracturing techniques used in shale gas extraction with potential legislation to ban or restrict drilling in numerous states. The EEIA will act as an advocate for the shale energy industry on multiple fronts.

Some of Mack’s accomplishments during his 24-year tenure at AED, with the help of AED’s board, include:

  • Catapulting AED into a major advocacy organization for the equipment distribution industry
  • Spearheading the formation of a formal strategic planning process for the AED Board
  • Leading the formation of The AED Foundation, which today fills two key needs in the industry: professional development/education for dealer management personnel, and effective, community-based workforce development 
  • Integrating Canadian members fully into the association beginning in January 2010. 
  • Leveraging technology for AED, creating variety of web-based media through which to communicate policy, association, and industry news & information
  • Developing the Executive Forum in 1999.

Mack will remain with AED through the end of October and assist with the association’s search for his replacement.