27 September 2004 15:49 [Source: ICIS news]
“Our members have informed us they want to raise their profile in Congress,” said NPRA president Bob Slaughter on the sidelines of the 38th annual meeting of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA). “This will be a major focus of NPRA going forward.”
The petrochemical members are interested in securing the same amount of influence as their fellow refining members. “We are looking to do the same thing for petrochemicals as we did for the refiners,” noted Slaughter.
The initiative will not be without some difficulty as Slaughter acknowledges most members of Congress have a lot on their plate. “It takes concerted action - you must present who you are and what your issues are. I suspect that starting with the next Congress we will be going door-to-door presenting petrochemical companies and their concerns.”
He expects it will take some time to see results. “It took the refiners about three years to gain an identity,” he said. He also noted that on the refining side, there was more public and Congressional sensitivity to refinery issues because of the rising cost of oil and gasoline. "With petrochemicals," said Slaughter, "it is harder to make the issue connection. Everyone knows it when they pay more for gasoline, but people are only indirect consumers of chemicals and are not as familiar with the industry and its issues."
Slaughter said that after the US national elections in November and with the seating of a new Congress in January, NPRA will launch a major effort to change Congressional perceptions of the industry.
The 38th annual EPCA conference runs through Tuesday (29th September).
CNI EPCA newsroom: Suite Naiades C, Grand Hotel; Tel: + 377-9315-1070/71
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