US chemical firms, others congratulate Obama but seek rules easing

07 November 2012 17:24  [Source: ICIS news]

Obama WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US chemical leaders, the energy industry and other manufacturers on Wednesday congratulated President Barack Obama on his election victory, but they also urged easing of regulatory burdens on energy and production.

“We look forward to working with President Obama and bipartisan leaders in Congress to advance an agenda that will enable strong economic growth, domestic energy security and rational, science-based approaches to regulation,” said Cal Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

“Sound policies and regulations will be critical to continuing the recent growth our industry has experienced,” he added.

Since Obama has been in office, Dooley and other chemical and energy industry leaders have been critical of policies, legislation and regulations that they contend could choke off development of new US natural gas supplies and stifle manufacturing innovation.

“With the right approach to economic, energy and environmental policy from the administration and Congress, the chemical industry can serve as an engine that drives growth throughout the country,” Dooley said.

Larry Sloan, president of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA), also congratulated Obama on his electoral win and said: “We look forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress to find common ground on advancing our industry’s priorities."

In an apparent reference to earlier concerns voiced about regulatory risks to proprietary business information and innovation, Sloan urged that the administration and Congress pursue “policies that help our members remain competitive and expand their markets”.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) also offered congratulations to the president, and said the API is looking forward to working with Obama in his second term.

But API president Jack Gerard urged Obama to “avoid the temptation to impose duplicative and unnecessary regulations on hydraulic fracturing” and to “follow through on his own executive order to eliminate overly burdensome regulations”.

Gerard, who earlier was head of the ACC, also asked the president to “rein in [the] EPA’s plans to impose regulatory burdens that could cost businesses hundreds of billions of dollars and chill economic growth”.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said that while it welcomed the opportunity to work further with Obama and his administration, the NAM will also "continue to make our case for pro-growth energy and tax policies and for common-sense regulations”.

The NAM, API, SOCMA, ACC and a broad range of other business interests have earlier been harshly critical of Obama administration policies and proposals affecting energy, electric power generation and manufacturing.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Joe Kamalick
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