01 April 2008 00:19 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--The US push towards the use of ethanol as an alternative source of energy makes no sense, Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman said on Monday.
"Like most things coming from this administration, it not thought through, it is short-sighted and it does not make any long-term sense," Huntsman said on the sidelines of the 33rd National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) meeting.
"Ethanol is just a feel-good alternative," the executive said, adding that if the Bush administration were serious about clear air, the US would go back to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which Huntsman produces.
MTBE is a homegrown product and the US has ample capacity, Huntsman said.
Unlike ethanol, which relies on heavy government subsidies, MTBE needs zero subsidy, said the executive.
"Instead of listening to a bunch of trial lawyers, they should be listening to environmentalists, who originally mandated the use of MTBE," said Huntsman.
Huntsman said path towards energy independence for the US should start with an "energy policy that makes sense".
"I cannot criticise this administration's energy policy, because one just plainly does not exist," he said.
Huntsman deemed shameful the way the US consumes and is dependent on crude oil.
According to Huntsman, the US should look at energy independence the same way it did with the Marshal Program, alluding to the reconstruction of Europe, or the Manhattan Project, in a reference to the development of nuclear weapons.
The executive said the chemical industry can play a role in improving automotive fuel efficiency by providing carbon fibres that can lighten up the weight of vehicles.
"Instead of being an industry that whines about issues, we have to be an industry that is focused on solving a lot of the macro issues in society today," he said.
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