NPRA ’05: Industry facing five major legislative issues
04 April 2005 02:09 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNI)--The US chemicals industry faces five major legislative issues in Congress this year, NPRA president Bob Slaughter said here Sunday, naming US energy policy, facility security and rail transport issues among them.
Speaking at a press conference on the opening day of the 30th International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), Slaughter said primary legislative interests for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) this year are:
Chief within this area, said Slaughter, is “the need for a more balanced policy
that emphasises supply, especially for natural gas
.” He also urged Congress to include in an energy bill incentives to promote domestic refining and petrochemical capacity, noting that no new refinery has been built in the ?xml:namespace>US
since 1976. Overall, Slaughter said he is optimistic that a comprehensive energy bill will be passed b\y Congress this year.
Limited liability protection for MTBE producers.
This objective, designed to insulate producers of methyl tertiary butyl ether
(MTBE) from “defective product” lawsuits, was stripped out of the US Senate energy bill last year, and Slaughter expects it will be killed in the Senate this year as well. But he also expects the measure will be restored to the energy bill
in conference committee negotiations.
Congress is again looking at legislation that would provide a federal standard and oversight
for securing chemical plant sites against possible terrorist attack. “We need to do a better job this year,” Slaughter said, “of informing Congress of all that the chemical industry has already done in this area and point out that a federal mandate might be in the way of what the industry is doing.”
Reach. Slaughter said NPRA remained greatly concerned about the European Union’s (EU) developing programme for the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (Reach) because “whatever final form Reach takes, it likely will stand as a new paradigm for other countries” and could influence the US Congress as well. Consequently, he said, NPRA will work with European Commission (EC) officials in an effort to ensure that Reach is risk-based and recognises available testing data compiled by the chemicals industry.
. Slaughter said the availability of rail freight service and delays
in existing service are once again a growing concern for the chemicals industry, and the matter is likely to garner some legislative attention on Capitol Hill this year.
Sponsored by NPRA, the IPC opened today and continues through Tuesday.
(The CNI newsroom at NPRA’s IPC is in Salon C, Marriott Riverwalk Hotel; Tel. +1 210 299 6585.)By: Joe Kamalick+1 713 525 2653
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