INSIDE VIEW ’11: ACC to foster environment of innovation

03 January 2011 19:00  [Source: ICIS news]

ACC president Cal DooleyBy Cal Dooley
President and CEO
American Chemistry Council

Editor’s note: US chemical industry association leaders were given the opportunity to express their views on the challenges and opportunities for 2011.

WASHINGTON--Congress may have changed, but the focus of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) remains the same: ensuring our members can continue to develop solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges. A central part of ACC’s mission is to foster an environment in which America’s chemical manufacturers have the ability to create innovations that drive economic growth, protect US jobs and enhance safety, health and quality of life in our communities. Our industry’s ability to innovate, grow and compete in tough global markets will be influenced by whether the new Congress and federal agencies create sound policies.

Policy and Regulation That Support Innovation

ACC supports sensible policies and regulations that help protect public health, safety and the environment while maintaining a strong and innovative US manufacturing sector that can grow and create jobs. Part of our mission is to show the nation’s leaders that these goals can be achieved together, and how chemistry can help. 

ACC’s 2011 advocacy agenda is designed to encourage business investment and job creation by developing a broad range of supportive policies, particularly in the areas of energy and environment, chemical management and security.

Chemical Management: Modernisation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will remain our top priority in 2011. We believe that reform done right will encourage new innovation and will be good for business, economy and the continued protection of public health and the environment.

There is a tremendous amount of misinformation about chemicals and the regulatory system that oversees them. Modernising TSCA to reflect scientific developments over the past 20 years is important not only to support sound, science-based oversight, but also to enhance public confidence in the safety of chemical products.

Our approach will rely on bipartisanship that considers all stakeholders. Along with a broad coalition of more than 80 value chain partners, we look forward to engaging the non-governmental organisation (NGO) community and the new Congress to craft a workable solution that advances the principles for reform that ACC released last autumn.

The current chemical management system needs to be streamlined to reflect the latest advancements in science and technology, and to equip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the necessary tools to make informed decisions in a timely manner.

We also will continue to look beyond Washington DC and advocate at the state, and even the local levels, to ensure that America has an effective, consistent and comprehensive national chemical management system, rather than a patchwork of local, state and federal laws that will create confusion and inhibit investment.    

Energy and Environment: The chemistry industry is leading the development of products and technologies that will transform the way we produce and use energy. In addition to helping Americans become more energy efficient and save on energy costs, chemistry also creates “green jobs” today, and can play an even larger role tomorrow - if our leaders get the policies right.

America needs an “all-of-the-above” energy policy that encourages the development of all domestic energy supplies, including oil and natural gas - onshore and offshore - nuclear power, alternatives, renewables and energy efficiency.  With this approach, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy security while maintaining America’s global competitiveness and US jobs.

Our industry is particularly excited about the development of natural gas from shale, which has dramatically increased domestic reserves, driven down prices and allowed US chemical manufacturers to become more competitive with producers around the world.  ACC will be focused on ensuring that we have the appropriate regulatory policies to protect our water supplies and our environment as industry continues to explore and invest in this significant domestic energy source.  

ACC will continue to seek changes to proposed environmental regulations that pose a serious threat to domestic jobs and economic growth. Our first order of business in the new Congress will be to continue our effort to pass legislation to impose a moratorium on the implementation of the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules for “stationary sources”, including chemical plants.

And we will continue to work with the EPA to improve its proposed “Boiler MACT” rule, which the agency delayed in late 2010 in response to the advocacy of ACC and our coalition partners in other industries. We are encouraged that the EPA is seeking more time to consider all the information that has been provided related to the Boiler MACT rulemaking process, and hope that the final product will be both effective and achievable. 

Security: Our position going into the next Congress will be consistent with our long held support for federal security regulations, and the nearly $8bn (€6.1bn) our members have invested to enhance security under ACC’s Responsible Care Security Code. Congress has an opportunity to build upon the bipartisan work of Senator Susan Collins (Republican-Maine) in the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and to extend the success of the current program. To that end, ACC and our members will ask Congress to reauthorise the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) and avoid unnecessary changes.

Our goal for the new year will be to continue to advance priorities that are based on our industry’s commitment to developing products that improve Americans’ health, safety and well-being, and - more important than ever - promote a stronger economy. It would be in our country’s best interest if the administration and new Congress would do the same.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly