07 March 2008 19:44 [Source: ICIS news]
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) called on Congress to support long-pending legislation that would open federally owned onshore and offshore regions to energy development.
The council’s warning came as the US Labor Department reported that the
Congress has maintained a moratorium on energy development in 85% of US outer continental shelf (OCS) regions, which according to decades-old federal estimates hold more than 600,000bn cubic feet (bcf) of recoverable gas. The
Noting that US prices for natural gas are now more than four times higher than the average 1999 cost of $2,38/m Btu, council president Jack Gerard said Congress must act quickly to avoid further damage to the
Gerard said that the US chemicals sector has lost nearly 120,000 jobs and manufacturing as a whole has seen 3m jobs evaporate in part because increasing gas costs have driven production offshore.
He also cautioned natural gas supplies will become crucial and demand will rise as Congress moves to pass climate control legislation that would cap and reduce US emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). “Increased access to domestic natural gas supply should be a key feature of any climate policy that Congress considers,” Gerard said.
He urged congressional support for and action on a House bill, HR-2784, that would open portions of US offshore regions to gas development.
However, the bill’s sponsor, Representative John Peterson (Republican-Pennsylvania), repeated on Friday his complaint that Democrat leaders in the House will not allow the bill to be considered, despite the fact that it has 166 bipartisan cosponsors.
($1 = €.65)
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