ACC to tie in natural gas with Democrats' agenda

31 January 2007 21:30  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) will seek to tie in natural gas supply with the Democrats’ agenda on renewables, conservation and energy efficiency in the new Congress, said ACC president Jack Gerard on Wednesday.

“Their policies will not succeed without sufficient natural gas supply,” Gerard said in a meeting with the press in New York. “For increased ethanol production, you need more corn, and the fertilizer used to grow this is based on natural gas.”

The ACC will keep natural gas supply at the top of the agenda, even as Gerard acknowledges that there needs to be a “recalibration of expectations” in terms of favourable legislation passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress.

“Low-carbon electricity generation is also tied to natural gas, and so this needs to be part of the debate,” Gerard said.

The ACC will continue to push Congress to open more offshore areas for natural gas exploration and development after achieving some success in 2006.

After energy concerns, the ACC’s top priorities for 2007 include plant security; environment; chemical regulations and health; and transportation, said Gerard.

Regarding the issue of global warming and caps on greenhouse emissions, Gerard warned that caps could drive utilities away from using coal and more toward cleaner-burning natural gas. “That could be a problem and raises the issue of natural gas availability,” he said.

Gerard also advocated a global approach to climate control. “Until you have China and India in, you don’t have a real answer to climate change. For the US, let’s get our own energy policy right and make sure we have a global solution – not something that is punitive.”

(Look for the very first Green issue of ICIS Chemical Business Americas on 5 February.)

By: Joseph Chang
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