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Andrew Liveris, Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company, warned that the persistently high price of oil and natural gas, exacerbated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, poses a severe threat to the long-term health of the chemical industry in the United States, PRNewswire reports.
"For two and a half years or more our industry has done all that it can to mitigate the impact of escalating feedstock and energy costs, which have been particularly severe in relation to US natural gas," said Liveris in a press release statement. "We''ve been sharply focused on reducing operating expenses, improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity and generally controlling those things we are able to control in an effort to address this unprecedented challenge. But right now, with oil and natural gas prices at astronomically high levels and showing no signs of receding, the US chemical industry faces the very real risk of being unable to invest in its own future in this country."
Liveris underscored the industry''s efforts to heighten government''s awareness of the issue, and he acknowledged the benefits that will be derived over time from the recent passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Liveris also said that Dow would continue to focus on managing price and volume in a way that would allow it to re-invest in its existing facilities and to grow the business into the future. As an immediate measure, the Company will be seeking price increases across its entire portfolio of chemical and plastic products.