ACC’s Dooley: Energy Regulations Need Political Support
" If there was one upside to the recession in the past few years it is there is a growing awareness by the general public it is important we make things in the United States, that we need to restore manufacturing in the United States,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), at the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) and the Louisiana Chemical Industry Alliance (LCIA) 2011 Annual Meeting. Dooley’s speech titled, “What’s Next for America’s Chemical Industry,” focused on the industry’s projected growth, the need for a domestic energy policy, EPA regulations and ACC’s political strategy for 2013.
Dooley said ACC projects a minimum 25-percent increase in the supply of natural gas and ethane for an infinite period of time. With that increase, the ACC predicts the United States would see a minimum of $16 billion in new capital investments by the U.S. chemical industry in the next five years, which would generate about 17,000 direct jobs, almost 400,000 additional indirect jobs and $132 billion in additional annual contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.
The challenge though, according to Dooley, is making sure the industry “gets it right.”
“We have to have the environmental policies in place that allow us to maximize the production of natural gas,” Dooley said. “That is the role the ACC has been playing around the country to ensure we respond to the legitimate concerns of the general public. They want their groundwater protected and we know how to do that and we can be a solutions provider.” Dooley said the ACC is looking at transitioning from the shale gas focus to move into creating a domestic energy policy.
Dooley said the United States has the opportunity to significantly enhance the nation’s domestic energy security, if not become energy independent.
“We are energy constrained now not because of resource availability, we are energy constrained because of choices,” Dooley said. “Unfortunately we have been in a political environment where we have seen too many people trying to make it an either/or [situation]. There is either green energy, which is good, or there is fossilbased energy, which is bad.”
Dooley said the industry has technology and the know-how to make fossil energy good and environmentally friendly, and by combining that with the industry’s progress in developing alternatives and renewables, the industry can ensure the United States has an essential foundation for restoration and manufacturing.
According to Dooley, in order to successfully form this domestic energy policy, the industry has to have support in the regulatory arena. Dooley said the ACC is partnering with its allies in Congress and is focusing on the issues related to the regulatory front.
Dooley said the ACC is developing a political strategy to build champions for the chemical industry who are in political positions for 2013 and beyond. To do this, Dooley said the ACC is investing its resources in strengthening the relationship with individuals in order to help the industry build a more comprehensive political structure.
“There is a critical role for ACC to play but we are not going to be successful in maximizing our opportunities in the legislative and regulatory arena if we don’t have that strong coordination with the state chemical councils, as well as integrating the political activities of our member companies,” Dooley said. “Collectively, I think we have made a lot of progress over the past few years but there is a lot of work to be done. ”
For more information on ACC’s political initiatives, visit www.Americanchemistry.com or call (202) 249-7000.
Author: BIC Magazine, email@example.com
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