Dow to withdraw from US manufacturing group on LNG export debate

19 January 2013 00:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow Chemical has decided to withdraw its membership from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) because it disagrees with the organisation’s position to support US export of natural gas, a company spokeswoman said on Friday.

“Earlier this week, with no discussion or notification, NAM adopted a new position on this issue, which places the interest of oil and gas producers above the interests of its manufacturer members,” said Dow Chemical's Nancy Lamb.

An entry on NAM’s blog on Tuesday said the organisation “supports open and expanded trade and opposes efforts to limit manufacturers’ ability to expand exports overseas”, and limiting liquid natural gas (LNG) and other products “would have far-reaching negative effects on the United States and should be rejected”.

Dow sent a letter to NAM on Friday, responding to the organisation’s position, national media reported.

The company is not releasing the letter to the public but said it will pursue common-sense policies that promote manufacturers.

“Dow supports a balanced export policy, one that incentivises sustainable natural gas production, maintains a competitive advantage for US manufacturers and allows oil and gas producers to enter foreign natural gas markets,” Lamb said.

“The unfettered export of natural gas is widely understood to have serious implications for the cost and volatility of manufacturing feedstock prices,” she added.

Responding to an ICIS request for comment, NAM spokesman Jeff Ostermayer said the organisation does not discuss membership issues publicly.

In December, the US Department of Energy (DOE) released a report that analyses the effects LNG exports could have on the US.

Dow CEO Andrew Liveris spoke out against the reports, saying it failed to consider the importance of manufacturing to he US economy.

Since then, a coalition has been formed, campaigning the restriction of natural gas exports.

Major trade group American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Wednesday that it does not oppose US exports of natural gas.

Dow said it is also considering withdrawing from the ACC, national media reported.

By: Tracy Dang
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