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WASHINGTON (March 10, 2021) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee , “Building Back Better: Addressing Climate Change in the Electricity Sector and Fostering Economic Growth.”

“We welcome today’s hearing focusing on strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the electricity sector and foster economic growth. The business of chemistry operates by creating complex chemical reactions requiring large amounts of process heat and power. We look forward to engaging with lawmakers to discuss ways to significantly lower emissions while keeping electricity affordable and reliable for U.S. manufacturers.

“Meeting the climate challenge will require a broad set of sources, including efficiency, renewables, nuclear, hydropower, and key fossil technologies. We support research for and use of high-efficiency gas turbine technologies, direct air capture, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The chemical sector is a leader in combined heat and power (CHP), a highly efficient process for generating heat and electricity on-site.

“ACC has supported legislation to advance R&D in technologies to lower emissions and strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry, including the bipartisan Clean Industrial Technology Act that was signed into law last year. Developing new ways to produce process heat and power industrial equipment will be critical to achieving significant reductions in emissions.

“The U.S. chemical industry competes in global markets, and our ability to grow and hire is linked to our ability to access competitively-priced energy and electricity. To put our electricity needs into perspective, a chemical facility making one million metric tons of ethylene annually would use 278 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s equivalent to the electricity used by 22,681 homes.

“American chemistry uses carbon and hydrogen molecules to create products that save energy (e.g., building insulation, electric and fuel-efficient vehicles), enable renewable energy (e.g., wind turbines, solar panels) and lower the emissions intensity of industrial processes (e.g., CHP, CCUS, catalysis, hydrogen). These innovations are among many ways that chemistry is the  science behind sustainability.

“We encourage the committee to consider the need of large industrial sectors for reliable and affordable baseload power and the innovations being explored by the manufacturing sector to enhance energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy sources.”


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