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Testimony at hearing will focus on infrastructure needs to support growing natural gas production

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2012) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) will testify at today's Congressional field hearing in Fairmont, West Virginia, to discuss the role that  shale gas plays in the renewed growth of American manufacturing, and the future transportation needs to support the continued expansion of natural gas production.

Owen Kean, Senior Director for  Energy Policy at ACC, will join state officials and West Virginia business leaders at the field hearing hosted by Sen. Jay Rockefeller , chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

"The shale gas found in the western Pennsylvania and West Virginia portions of the Marcellus shale contain some of the most ethane-rich shale gas deposits found anywhere in the country," Kean said. "Regulations and policies around natural gas production and infrastructure development will ultimately determine whether shale gas becomes the 'game changer' everyone hopes for,  generating economic growth and new jobs and revitalizing U.S. manufacturing."

Abundant, affordable supplies of shale gas are helping to lower feedstock costs for the chemical industry and create thousands of manufacturing jobs across the nation, making the U.S. more competitive and energy secure.

ACC projects  that a 25 percent boost in  ethane supplies could generate 400,000 U.S. jobs, $132 billion in U.S. economic output and $4.4 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue every year.

Kean stressed the importance of building adequate infrastructure to separate ethane and other liquids from the gas supply, ship it to markets, and develop adequate capacity to store it before use. He noted that businesses are moving quickly to bring ethane infrastructure to the Marcellus region that will likely see ethane moving to market by the end of next year.

Kean also cited the state's current infrastructure as conducive to attracting new investment and economic development. West Virginia has an abundant supply of fuel and feedstock, maintains excellent road, rail and river transportation networks, and is within 500 miles of the primary U.S. markets for petrochemicals and plastics . The state's rail networks also make it an attractive platform from which to ship plastic pellets and sheet to Atlantic ports for shipment across the world.

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