Industry Seeks Action On Natural Gas, Rail Rates | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: December 19, 2007

Industry Seeks Action On Natural Gas, Rail Rates

Chemical companies draw link between climate change and energy policy
Department: Government & Policy, Business | Collection: Climate Change

Increasing access to domestic supplies of natural gas and holding down the growing cost of freight railroad transportation are among the legislative priorities that chemical industry lobbyists will be working on in 2008.

Thomas J. Gibson, the American Chemistry Council???s senior vice president for advocacy, says the trade association will continue to urge Congress to allow more offshore production of natural gas, which chemical manufacturers rely on both for power generation and as a key feedstock.

"The U.S. is probably the only coastal nation not exploiting its natural gas resources," Gibson remarks.

If Congress passes legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning coal, he notes that demand for cleaner-burning natural gas will increase dramatically across industrial sectors.

"If you cap CO2 and put a price on it, we can???t pass on the price of carbon to our customers," Gibson states. "Our products compete in the world market. If you make a product more expensive to produce in the U.S., you???re creating an opportunity for someone who doesn???t have to share that compliance cost."

Martin J. Durbin, ACC???s managing director of federal affairs, says the industry will also push lawmakers to pass legislation designed to protect "captive" rail shippers served by a single railroad from being charged excessive rates.

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