Markets should determine natgas supply/demand – not policies – ACC

05 June 2012 18:36  [Source: ICIS news]

COLORADO SPRINGS (ICIS)--The markets should determine the consumption and supply of natural gas in the US rather than government policies, the president of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Tuesday.

“We oppose the T Boone Pickens bill, which amounts to a $5bn (€4bn) subsidy. We have no problems with using natural gas as a fuel for transport, but we don’t need a subsidy to create market distortion,” said Cal Dooley, president of the ACC.

Dooley spoke at a press briefing at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs.

The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, known as the Pickens bill for its originator, is aimed at boosting the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Natural gas is a major feedstock for the US chemical sector.

The ACC also takes a similar stance on potential US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We should allow the marketplace to determine whether LNG exports make sense,” said Dooley.

Dooley said he is more concerned about regulatory policies that will shift the power sector to use higher amounts of natural gas versus coal to generate electricity.

“But this is an exciting time for the US chemical industry where almost weekly you have an announcement of new production capacity,” said Dooley.

There have been over $30bn in announced new capacity investments in the US chemical industry related to cheap shale gas, noted ACC chief economist Kevin Swift at the press briefing.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Joseph Chang
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