Saturday, March 8, 2008

New York City Gate Natural Gas $10.99/mBTU

ARLINGTON, Va., March 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week U.S. natural gas prices neared $10 per MMBtu -- more than quadruple the 1999 price of $2.38 -- as oil prices hovered just over $100 per barrel.

American Chemistry Council (ACC) President & CEO Jack N. Gerard issued the following statement:

"This week's sky-high energy prices signal that Congress has much energy work left to do. We welcome lawmakers' attention to energy diversity and efficiency -- policies we have long-supported. But domestic energy supply is a vital missing piece Congress ignores at America's cost. Congress can help prevent further damage by looking again at moratoria on domestic energy development. We strongly urge lawmakers to support legislation such as the National Environment and Energy Development (NEED) Act. It will not be a moment too soon.

"U.S. households, manufacturers, farmers and other natural gas consumers pay dramatically more for natural gas when federal energy policy keeps restrictions on our own domestic supplies -- the only industrialized nation in the world to do so. Since 1999, the cumulative increase in the nation's natural gas bill is more than $522 billion -- that's $4,568 per taxpayer. America's chemistry sector has lost more than 118,000 jobs, and the manufacturing sector as a whole has lost three million jobs. If milk prices had increased at the same rate as U.S. natural gas prices, a gallon of milk would cost $11 today. Gasoline would cost $5.37 a gallon.

"Natural gas will have a prominent role in Congress's attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's used for cleaner electricity generation, cleaner transportation fuels, hydrogen for fuel cells and as a key feedstock for chemistry used in products to improve energy efficiency -- from wind power blades and solar panels to energy-efficient appliances, compact fluorescent light bulbs, coatings, lubricants, low-rolling resistance tires and many others. Increased access to domestic natural gas supply should be a key feature of any climate policy that Congress considers."

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care(R), common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $635 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

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