WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chemical manufacturers are poised for a "significant enhancement in their global competitiveness" because of the growing availability of natural gas, primarily from enormous shale deposits in the United States, Cal Dooley, the president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, said in a recent interview with E&ETV OnPoint.
"Our member companies in the chemical industry are poised to make billions of dollars in new investment that would create jobs, that will ensure that we will see a renaissance in manufacturing in the United States if we fully commit to developing our domestic natural gas supplies," Dooley emphasized in a wide-ranging discussion of the potential benefits energy policy could have on economic growth and job creation.
Citing a recent American Chemistry Council study on shale gas, Dooley said "if we develop the supplies that are available in shale gas, our findings were that it would result in the next decade in 400,000 additional jobs in the chemical sector as well as our suppliers. It will result in an additional $132 billion in economic activity in this country."
Asked about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Dooley said "we can demonstrate that by adopting best practices and putting in place the appropriate regulations, we can responsibly develop our shale gas deposits." He added that "the industry has clearly demonstrated that it has the ability and the track record that they can tap into shale gas in an environmentally responsible and safe manner," Dooley added.
Dooley also reiterated the ACC's support for a comprehensive domestic energy policy. "If you really want to see sustained growth in the manufacturing sector, we have to capitalize on our domestic energy resources," Dooley said, emphasizing that support for fossil fuel resources does not mean opposition to renewable energy. "The chemical industry has as vested interest in all of those. We use natural gas as our primary feedstock, but we transform that natural gas into the solar films that are part of our solar cells, into composites that are part of wind turbines. This is a win-win for this country," he added.
Asked about chemical regulation, Dooley discussed the ACC's recent comprehensive proposal that would prioritize chemicals for regulatory review. "We're very pleased with the response that we've had from the regulatory community and the EPA as well as the NGO community, some of our partners in the environmental and consumer safety community, to our proposal to prioritize chemicals that would take a look at the hazard that they might pose to consumers and the environment," Dooley told OnPoint, a high-profile webcast featuring in-depth interviews with Washington's leading energy policy leaders.
SOURCE American Chemistry Council