America's Chemical Makers Statement on the
Impact of Hurricane Katrina
Friday September 2, 12:42 pm ET
ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Jack N. Gerard, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the millions of Americans in the gulf coast region who have lost their loved ones, homes and livelihoods due to the devastation of hurricane Katrina. It may take months or even years for communities and local economies in the region to recover from this devastating storm. American Chemistry Council (ACC) companies and employees have opened their hearts and homes to the victims of Katrina and are contributing millions of dollars to relief efforts.
The number one priority of our companies is caring for the safety and well being of employees impacted by Katrina. On behalf of all our companies, we wish Godspeed to the men and women in the gulf coast region who make the essential and life saving chemical products that Americans rely on.
ACC companies are committed to protecting the gulf coast environment in the wake of Katrina. Our companies plan for such contingencies and design facilities to withstand hurricane forces to ensure minimal environmental impact. All companies either have assessed or are presently assessing the impact on their operations. Based on available information, it appears the integrity of our companies' production facilities has been maintained.
While all is not known at this point, hurricane Katrina's impact on the production of chemical products near the Gulf of Mexico could prove significant. Some chemical facilities in the region currently are idle due to high water and lack of power, transportation and feedstocks.
Since companies that rely on chemical products comprise 25 percent of America's GDP, it is critical for our nation to repair quickly the damage to the gulf coast infrastructure. We support President Bush's efforts and will work closely with the region's governors, mayors and local officials to restore production of chemical products that are essential to the region and the nation's livelihood.
Americans already are seeing rapidly rising gasoline prices and likely will experience additional increases in already soaring natural gas prices in the wake of Katrina. America's chemical makers are particularly impacted by price increases for natural gas, which provides both power and raw materials for the products of modern chemistry. Katrina's aftermath painfully underscores the need for conservation, improvements in the nation's energy infrastructure and access to America's own natural gas resources.
America's gulf coast has supported chemical production for decades and will continue to be a primary source of these essential products. Our companies, government, communities -- indeed all Americans -- will rally to overcome this tragedy, as we have in the past.
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, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $516 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 invest more in research and development than any other business sector. 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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