HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council (PCIC) today hosted a policy forum, "The Future is Now: Energy and Manufacturing in Pennsylvania" featuring two expert panels of industry, business and political leaders to discuss how Pennsylvania is poised for a manufacturing renaissance as the benefits of abundant and affordable supplies of natural gas ripple through the state's economy, starting with the chemical industry.
Keynote speaker Senate President Joe Scarnati, ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley, and PCIC President Jeffrey Peters joined 10 local business and political leaders at the event held in the Main Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pa., to discuss how abundant domestic shale gas is revitalizing the chemical and manufacturing industries in Pennsylvania and the United States.
"Natural gas is a game changer. Pennsylvania's supply of natural gas from shale has the potential to create tens of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs, drive economic output and generate much needed revenues for the Keystone State," Mr. Dooley said. "Pennsylvania is a model for states on how leveraging abundant shale gas through responsible production can reduce energy costs and create a competitive advantage for its manufacturing industry, particularly for chemical manufacturers. The result is increased investment, more jobs and a growing, robust economy."
"Today's forum demonstrates the chemical industry's commitment to work with public officials and policy makers to develop a strong business climate that can build around this unique natural resource," Mr. Peters said. "The chemical industry in Pennsylvania already employs more than 40,000 skilled workers in good paying jobs and includes facilities of major international firms, as well as small locally owned companies. In addition, the downstream potential holds real promise with the proposed ethane cracker in southwestern PA and more opportunities on the horizon."
A recent ACC study found that a $3.2 billion investment in an ethylene production complex in Pennsylvania would generate $7.9 billion in additional chemical industry output, bringing the state's industry revenues to more than $32 billion. In addition, it could create 17,000 permanent jobs in Pennsylvania, generating over $2 billion in wages for Pennsylvania workers.
Earlier this month, Shell Chemical LP announced that it had made a decision to take the next step in considering a new ethane cracker for the U.S.—the first in over a decade. Shell is one of several chemistry companies that have announced plans to expand production or explore new investments in major manufacturing facilities.
The first panel session, "Driving a Manufacturing Renaissance in Pennsylvania," detailed how the shale gas revolution is benefiting Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector and the state economy. Moderated by Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, panelists included representatives from the chemical manufacturing sector: Richard A. Beuke, Vice President of PPG Industries; Randy Dearth, CEO of LANXESS Corporation; and the economic development and local manufacturing community: Petra Mitchell, CEO and President of Catalyst Connection of PA's Industrial Resource Centers; and David N. Taylor, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association.
The second panel session, "A Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Pennsylvania," explored how a comprehensive energy strategy can maximize the benefits of abundant shale gas for Pennsylvania's manufacturing sector. Moderated by Mr. Peters, panelists included Senator Tim Solobay (D-Washington); Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Pamela Witmer; Drew Crompton, Chief of Staff and Counsel, Office of Senator Joe Scarnati; and Terrance Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of the Energy Association of Pennsylvania.
This event is part of ACC's recently launched energy advocacy and awareness campaign, From Chemistry to Energy. From Chemistry to Energy advocates for a comprehensive national energy strategy that maximizes all domestic energy resources, with a focus on robust and responsible production of domestic shale gas; improved residential, commercial and industrial energy efficiency; and expanded adoption of energy recovery programs. Each will help meet national energy security, economic and environmental goals while also creating value for the business of chemistry and creating energy solutions for a strong, secure, and sustainable future.
For more information about the From Chemistry to Energy campaign, please visit ChemistryToEnergy.com. Also, join the conversation on Twitter using #Chemistry2Energy and follow campaign updates at @AmChemistry and blog.americanchemistry.com.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $720 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.
SOURCE American Chemistry Council