Energy Efficiency, Technology, Supply and Global Approach Must Be Part of U.S. Climate Policy

In response to today's remarks by President George W. Bush on U.S. efforts to halt the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement:

"We welcome the President's remarks on U.S. initiatives to reduce America's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Indeed, as one of the nation's most energy-intensive sectors, we have substantially improved energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions in our own operations. Between 1999 and 2006, GHG emissions in the U.S. business of chemistry fell 12.5 percent in absolute terms, a reduction that would have exceeded the Kyoto Protocol target. And our sector is important to overall U.S. emissions reductions: chemistry is relied upon for many energy-saving products, from insulation, solar panels, wind power blades and energy-efficient appliances to compact fluorescent light bulbs, lightweight vehicle parts, thermal coatings, vinyl windows and industrial and automotive lubricants, among others.

"We strongly support the President's comments on the importance of new technologies in America's climate policy. As we seek to further reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the development and deployment of low-emission energy sources and technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear, energy efficiency and renewable energy will be essential. Likewise, we share the President's view that climate protection requires global participation, including high-emitting nations such as China and India.

"We appreciate the President's desire to develop climate policy that avoids putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy. That's why one of our chief concerns is that thus far, Congress's climate policy proposals fail to include provisions for new sources of domestic natural gas supply. U.S. natural gas prices have soared 420 percent since 2000, and millions of manufacturing jobs have disappeared, many of them to other nations where natural gas is far more affordable. Congress also has failed to recognize that climate protection strategies such as lower-emission electricity, renewable fuels, cleaner transportation fuels and energy efficiency will all significantly increase U.S. natural gas demand.

"Today's soaring energy prices underscore the need for policymakers to examine the need for expanded domestic energy supply. Oil prices are above $100 per barrel, and U.S. natural gas prices are above $10 per million BTUs. These high energy prices are increasing the risk of inflation and recession in the U.S. economy. In the U.S. business of chemistry, our energy costs have tripled from $25.1 billion in 1999 to $72.8 billion in 2007, and more than 118,000 chemistry jobs have been lost in that time. The pain has been felt by other manufacturers as well as residential consumers, farmers, small businesses, schools, and hospitals.

"Energy efficiency, diversity - including technology - and new sources of domestic supply are vital to sound U.S. climate policy. Congress must include domestic energy supply in any climate bill."

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