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Proposed Bill Would Expand Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Supplies

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2012) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in advance of a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 6082, a bill that would expand access to oil and natural gas supplies in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and replace a more limited plan developed by the Department of the Interior (DOI):

"Congress should pass H.R. 6082 to ensure that U.S. natural gas markets are well supplied for years to come.

"America's manufacturing base is witnessing an unprecedented renaissance, thanks in part to the chemical industry's ability to leverage new, abundant and affordable supplies of domestic natural gas. The full impact of this revitalization will not be realized without open access to offshore sources of natural gas.

"The administration's current access plan, which keeps roughly 85 percent of offshore acreage off limits through 2017, is far too limited and will not help keep pace with rising natural gas demand from the electricity, transportation, industrial and petrochemical sectors. Analysts expect electricity generation from natural gas alone to increase by 25 percent by 2017.

"Ironically, most of this demand growth is being driven-directly or indirectly-by government policy. If policymakers are encouraging higher demand, they should also support policies that will spur growth in natural gas supply in order to keep up with demand.

"H.R. 6082 recognizes that natural gas markets are entering a dynamic period and recommends measures to ensure that our nation's energy resources will be available to meet future market needs. We strongly urge the House to pass H.R. 6082."

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