US petchem group slams Obama jobs plan, urges regulatory relief

09 September 2011 15:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) on Friday strongly criticised President Barack Obama’s jobs plan and called for relief from regulatory burdens.

On Thursday Obama called on Congress to pass emergency legislation he is proposing to spur job creation across the country.

The president’s proposal, the American Jobs Act, would, among other things, cut payroll taxes by half for US employers and their staff and provide tax incentives for companies that hire new workers. It would also funnel federal funds to states to save the jobs of teachers, police and fire-fighters that are in jeopardy because of state budget cutbacks, ICIS reported.

However, in a strongly worded response, NPRA president Charles Drevna said the most effective actions Obama could take to create jobs would be “to lift the unprecedented and unwarranted regulatory burdens his administration has imposed on American manufacturers and stop trying to raise energy taxes”.

“Instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on subsidies that line the pockets of executives of so-called ‘clean energy’ companies that can’t stay in business and can’t keep workers employed, President Obama should follow his own advice in his speech and back a tax code that ‘should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs here in America’,” Drevna said.

US energy, petrochemicals and chemicals producers can create more jobs, but only if the president “will stop throwing regulatory roadblocks and proposed tax increases in our path”, Drevna said.

Oil, gas, petrochemicals and chemicals companies support more than 9m American jobs, he added.

Obama’s emergency jobs proposal came in the wake of zero jobs growth for August, the first time since 1945 the US economy has failed to generate net jobs in a month.

Additional reporting by Joe Kamalick in Washington

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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